Zimswitch announces partnership with Mastercard to “modernise national payments infrastructure”

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Zimswitch today announced a partnership with Mastercard that they say will “enable the modernization of Zimbabwe’s payment infrastructure”. Whilst Zimswitch and Mastercard are yet to announce any joint products/services, there are hints as to what they will be working on.

Zimswitch issued a press statement on the partnership and some of the things they highlighted there include the following;

  • launch of a co-branded contactless card programme that features EMV technology to enable safer, smarter and more secure transactions;
  • The payment switch will also introduce Mastercard’s digital payment solutions;
  • A loyalty platform;
  • a national fraud and risk management solution to protect consumers, financial institutions and merchants against criminal activity;
  • Zimswitch will leverage Mastercard Payments Gateway Services to support small businesses;
  • The platform will process all payments from all major international card schemes, enabling international visitors and locals to book and pay for their travel, visas and government services online;

The EMV related announcement is not much of a surprise. The RBZ demanded that banks start issuing out cards with the technology last year. Despite the security advantages banks couldn’t afford to do so, thus it will be interesting to see if Zimswitch’s involvement will change that.

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Whilst most of the details shared in the press statement are pretty vague, we are reaching out to both Zimswitch and Mastercard to get more details of what we can expect from the partnership.

Speaking on the partnership, central bank Governor John Mangudya had the following to say;

We see this partnership as a positive development that will help us achieve our long-standing vision and our strategic plan to modernise payments systems and infrastructure and build an inclusive financial sector that supports the socio-economic development of the country.

Given that Zimswitch was announced as the designated national switch, it’s no surprise that the move is being given a stamp of approval by the RBZ.


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  • The death of ecocash seems inevitable

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    • but its not a good precedence youdont use legislation to give one of your points of interest an unfair advantag it stifles innovation and creates ineffeciencies because you are creating an unlevel playing field with no corresponding buy in by the market or innovation on the part of zimswitch. it will not end well.

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  • I think this s a long overdue move. Some Zimswitch partners already have Mastercard or Visa products and the advantanges here include STIP (stand-in processing/authorisation) when a partner is offline etc. EcoCash will still remain relevant for the non-banked/informal traders and convenient for the banked who require flexibility to transact when or if the Zimswitch/Mastercard service is offline. Perhaps we'll see more vigilance at points-of-service regarding card acquiring to reduce fraud etc

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    • With the 5000rtgs limit? I don't see how ecocash survives this except a change of the law. Their not so reliable network isn't doing them any good either!

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      • Because you don't know that EcoCash already offers mastercard services with their FCA wallet where the ZWL5000 per day does not apply

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Published by
Farai Mudzingwa

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