RBZ orders Econet, Telecel & NetOne to phase out juice cards

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airtime scratch cards card, juice cards RBZ

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) Financial Intelligence Unit has in a circular told the country’s mobile network operators (MNOs) to decrease physical airtime vouchers or juice card sales as they are reportedly being used for money laundering.

The statement from the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit on Juice cards reads as follows:

To: Mobile Telecommunications and Mobile Phone Service Providers

Measures to curb abuse of physical airtime vouchers for money laundering

1. The Financial Intelligence Unit has noted that bulk airtime recharge vouchers are being abused by airtime dealers to facilitate illegal foreign currency trading and money laundering.

2. Airtime dealers have been purchasing airtime vouchers in bulk from mobile telecommunication service providers using local currency and then disposing same at discounted foreign currency prices. The bulk airtime traders have not been depositing the significant foreign currency proceeds so generated into the banking system but have instead channelled same to fuel trade on the foreign exchange parallel market.

3. In order to curb this abuse, the following measures shall apply in respect of mobile telecommunication and mobile payment service providers:

4. Mobile telecommunication service providers shall –

(a) take steps to decrease the production and sale of bulk physical air time recharge vouchers and promote the increased use of electronic airtime recharge;

(b) reduce sales of physical airtime recharge vouchers to twenty percent (20%)of all airtime sales by 31 January 2022 and to ten percent (10%) by 30 April 2022;

5. Mobile telecommunication service providers shall submit a written plan to the FIU no later than 7 November 2021 detailing the measures to be taken to meet the above targets by the set dates.

6. In addition to the measures referred to above, mobile telecommunications service providers shall issue circulars to their respective airtime distributors to enforce limits on till-point airtime voucher purchasers. To ensure that customers purchase airtime vouchers for personal use and not for re-sale, a customer shall be allowed to purchase airtime of not more than ZW$ 10,000 in value in any one transaction. A customer can buy up to five vouchers at a time but not exceeding ZW$10,000 in total.

7. In order to facilitate electronic airtime recharging through customers’ mobile money wallets, individual mobile wallet holders may, with immediate effect, be allowed to conduct cash-in to their mobile money wallets, at designated outlets, up to ZW$5,000 per week. Cash-outs shall not be permissible.

You are directed accordingly.

O. Chiperesa

Director General, Financial Intelligence Unit

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  1. Dave

    Long overdue move, besides laundering vendors are selling ZWL100 airtime for ZWL140 which doesn’t make sense!

  2. The Last Don

    These are signs that the economy is dead. No amount of telling us that it’s kicking will work. Citizens will just find other ways to trade for Forex

  3. D1vant

    Good move

    1. Anonymous

      Money laundering and sponsoring terrorism is real. I think its a good move.
      In developed countries like the US you dont mess around like that and get away with it. So why should we allow it in zim.
      Google and check how our Naija brothers have been arrested in US for playing tbese money games.

      1. Tyg

        Which games?

  4. X

    At this rate, we will regulate everything to do with money

    1. Tinashe

      I know right. Someone remind me what the “I” in FIU stands for 🥴

  5. Anonymous

    Stop command economies yu will never win guys

  6. AD

    This is outrageous, so all airtime vendors have been effectively put out of business, this needs to be stopped.

  7. tweeter

    What RBZ does not realize is that it is pushing the market to full dollarization, unless that has been their intention from the onset.

  8. Juno

    RBZ and Zim government “be an entrepreneur, be your own boss, develop new lines of business”
    Also RBZ and Zim government “no not like that or that or that or even that… Ad infinitum”

  9. Tkayz

    I don’t like where this is all going

    I don’t use juice cards

    But trying to sniff their nose everywhere they risk being bitten to their death

  10. Anonymous

    Its a desperate effort. What can they do?

  11. Obey Mthunzie

    There have to help us. bcoz we a tired of buying such airtym gyz

  12. Mwendaz

    Its already too late they always play second fiddle. They know the money launderers. They are within the system. So all they are saying is nonsense.

  13. Anonymous

    They shld go after all entities receiving usd cash payments easpecialy major food outlets

  14. Todd

    New brains are needed @ rbz

  15. Tyg

    Leave the market to determine the price of your beloved Zim Dollar /RTGS or whatever it is called these days. You cannot determine the price of something you don’t have and which you yourself needs desperately.

  16. Tech is Real and Disruptive

    Dear Zim finance team, at the rate things, are moving if you don’t pull up your socks, an application is going to be developed if it has not yet already been developed, that will replace all Zimbanks and RBZ . The application is going to make it easy to open a bank account, will have fewer hustles and less fees and the majority will simply shift to the app rendering the bank service and RBZ useless. It has already happened in many industries. People are sick and tired of the banks and how the economics are run. People will quickly shift to the app simply because they are fed up

  17. Fix the ecnomy

    this is an arbitrage opportunity created by the use of multiple currencies !! the problem is not solved by looking at the consequences, this is but one method to arbitrage. Is the gvt then going to use the approach for all. bottom line get the banking system normalized , close the space for parallel market, who wants to keep savings in a transactional currency

    1. Anonymous

      if u reduce the volumes then u promote the problem…. cause if u ddint notice its not only airtime cards bt currencies and other commodities.. they hodd and create artificial shortages n then bidd on it…. infact if u supply more juice cards then u would have solved the issue… same as the US dollar thing just redollarise and load more into circulation then matopedza basaa…. vanhu vatori nemaaplications ekujusa aya nemobile banking kudhara stop closing things izvezvi makavharisa ecocash.. What was the result????

  18. Obey Mthunzie

    Yah yah that’s 🤞guys

  19. Anonymous

    I hate to comment but the good brains and the ambitions of certain individuals we have in this nation does not deserve the destruction of this country

  20. Lithube

    They should just close the country, because looking intelligent and being intelligent are 2 things a world apart. Just a few guys up there trying to fix things for the millions of us down here. Seems to me that someone is out numbered by the brain power, somewhere somewhere. Just saying

  21. Anonymous

    Just admit that you have failed. Just dollarise masports anotobva apera ipapo ipapo. Do good to the millions of this country than to squeeze them every time. You closed ecocash , did you solve anything or makangonyudzisa mari dzevanhu chete. Stop game of distraction, mukutwadzisa vanhu.

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