The Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) is out and as we expect, the RBZ has announced some surprise regulations. The war against mobile money is far from over it appears…
What’s the new rule?
Under the section titled “measures to address mobile banking deficiencies” is a set of new regulations. Mobile money operators “shall with immediate effect close all multiple wallets and allow just one wallet per individual.” Yes, you read that right! If you have multiple accounts on EcoCash, that won’t be the case for long.
A lot is unclear…
As is always the case with these “immediate-effect-regulations” that RBZ has been issuing throughout the year a lot isn’t clear;
- The MPS doesn’t explain how this will be done. Will people with multiple mobile wallets from one provider be the only ones affected? If someone has one Telecash, EcoCash and OneMoney wallet are they safe or they too will have those closed?
- The RBZ doesn’t explain what will happen to money in the accounts being closed;
- In the event that an individual has multiple wallets, it’s not clear how mobile money operators determine which account to close.
Why limit mobile money wallets?
Limiting individuals to a single account has been done to counter agents who were using multiple lines;
Following the suspension and freezing of agent and bulk-payer wallets on 27 June 2020, mobile money operators have allowed illegal foreign currency dealers to use multiple individual wallets as a means to bypass the transaction limits and continue with their illicit transactions.