Banks have been having some issues with Paynet due to forex payments and back in March, Paynet faced periods of downtime due to failure to pay licencing fees. Paynet has thus extended this cost to the banks they provide service to and an email sent to CABS customers by the bank indicates that Paynet will be cutting of the banks if they have not paid by the 15th of June:
Following communication from Paynet where they advised that they will invoice all financial institutions in USD and disconnect service if payments is not settled by 15 June 2019…CABS email to customers
Cambria Africa, the company providing the Paynet portal, is said to have already lost US$470 000 and deem it irresponsible to continue offering the service. If the service is indeed cut it will mean civil servants may not get their salaries on time and NSSA having announced delays for pension payouts, it seems banks will have to find a local alternative as soon as possible.
This dispute could lead to banks opting for an alternative bulk payments solution and with Zimswitch already offering Zeepay and being owned by the banks, it does seem like a convenient option. The fact that Zeepay was announced last year but hasn’t found any traction seems to speak to some problems that may have not been publicised.
Cambria believes that banks have been delaying payments whilst they work on an alternative which is why things are now coming to a head:
However, ten days later it is clear that the intention was to run out the clock and use the time against Payserv while attempting to present untested and unapproved alternative software platforms.
This is the feeling inside Cambria because they insist that RBZ Governor -Mangudya- had given his word that RBZ would not object to the banks paying in forex and yet a number of banks are said to have claimed that the RBZ is wouldn’t allow them to pay out invoices in forex.