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Upcoming Regulations Will Allow Innovators To Access Banks – RBZ

2020’s Monetary Policy Statement is out now and RBZ has once again discussed what their plans for the local Fintech industry are.

Background

The focus on Fintech alluded to last September in the mid-term monetary policy. The RBZ decided to create a National Fintech Steering Committee which would provide “policy direction in the Fintech space”.

New developments

In the most recent Monetary Policy Statement, the RBZ says they’ve come up with a “regulatory sandbox framework” that will be used to connect Fintech’s and financial institutions:

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Further to the advice in the 2019 Mid Term Monetary Policy Statement, the Bank has embarked on several initiatives to establish the Fintech agenda. The Bank is in the process of finalizing a regulatory sandbox framework.

The framework will outline the qualification, application and evaluation criterion for entities to be admitted into the sandbox. The sandbox provides an opportunity for innovators to connect to banks and other financial system players. The operationalization of the framework will thus promote competition and efficiencies through innovation

John Mangudya – 2020 February Monetary Policy Statement

Outside of the framework, the Reserve Bank Governor also urged banks to ” upgrade their ICT systems consistent with the developments in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. I would assume that this move is meant to make it easier for banks and Fintech’s/Innovators to speak to each others systems.

Finally, Mangudya also encouraged banks to explore new technologies and business models. Fintech’s are agile and present some advantages over banks – one of which is their freedom from legacy technology.

Mangudya encouraging banks to adopt some of these technologies and business model will ultimately benefit consumers especially at a time when the banking business model in Zimbabwe basically boils down to “let’s make as much as we can through bank charges.” Not exactly a beacon of customer-centric solutions that the banks claim to provide.


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