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RBZ to clamp down on ZW$ card swipe for USD money changers

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The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has put out a directive for banks to report those who are using local currency card swipe transactions to facilitate illegal USD exchanges.

The statement by the FIU on card swipe for USD forex deals is as follows:

ABUSE OF DEBIT CARDS TO FACILITATE ILLEGAL FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRANSACTIONS

1. The Financial Intelligence Unit has noted the increasing abuse of debit cards linked to Zimbabwe dollar denominated bank accounts. Card-holders approach customers who intend to purchase goods or services in foreign currency and offer the use of their cards in return for foreign currency at an agreed rate.

2. In the course of discharging AML/CFT obligations, banks are expected to identify and report these transactions as suspicious and, in case of repeated abuse, close the accounts and report same to the FIU.

3. Banks are directed to implement the following measures to curb the abuse of bank accounts, and debit cards in particular:

(a) Banks should implement a robust automated transaction monitoring mechanism to identify debit cards and the linked bank accounts that are being used frequently and in a pattern that raises suspicion that the customer is abusing the card to pay for goods and services on behalf of third parties;

(b) Having identified such transactions and accounts, the bank must carry out further analysis to establish the source of funding into the accounts as well as the purpose and legitimacy of the payments;

(c) If the bank determines that the account is being abused for third party payments, the bank must file a suspicious transaction report to the FIU;

(d) ln addition to filing STRs, banks should consider taking immediate steps to withdraw banking services in respect of the offending customer. In appropriate cases, the bank may, in its discretion, issue a final warning to a customer, before making a final decision to close the account.

4. Among other indicators, banks should pay attention to, and investigate the following red flags, especially where more than one indicator is present with respect to a single bank account;

• A bank account which receives regular inflows from sources or for a purpose that cannot be readily verified, followed by frequent debit card payments to retailers and service providers;

• A debit card is used several times in a day in the same shop in a manner inconsistent with normal shopping patterns; and

• A debit card that is used to purchase goods and services either in the same shop or in different shops in a regular pattern that is not consistent with normal shopping patterns.

5. Banks are required to –

(a) configure their automated transaction monitoring systems specifically to detect the abuse highlighted above;

(b) to report to the FIU by no later than 18 October 2021 on the specific measures implemented ;

(c) thereafter report any suspicious transactions as required to the FIU, as well as details of any accounts that would have been closed as a result of this exercise, within 7 days of such closure.

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21 thoughts on “RBZ to clamp down on ZW$ card swipe for USD money changers

  1. The question is will banks be sincere with the information they provide the RBZ? Because ratting these transactions out will affect their revenue streams significantly aswell, it’s a bit of a quandary, RBZ is going about this the wrong way, making the same mistake they’ve made for years. They should address the fundamentals which are causing this activity rather than try to address the symptoms. Tighten up money supply, remove export retention requirements and give back the function of buying and selling of forex to the banks, let the market determine the rate not this fixed fake auction rate, it’s a failed system!

  2. There more transactions I do the more the bank gets in terms of transaction fees and charges, so are banks willing to sacrifice their customers for RBZ then lose revenue.

  3. they just saying this so that those still naive believe they really want to solve the situation bu the do not. if they were sincere they would hv solved this way back. they know wat needs to be done n they dont wanna do it for obvious reasons. its like the farm n city issue. a manager was in court for pricing goods at paralle market rate yet we have INNSCOR outlets doing it so in front of their eyes bt nothing is done. that receiots that circulated did nothing. the whole chain of shops wasnt closed or called n noone was arrested. so how then do you police certain pple n others not. different laws for diff people….so this will not work..

  4. Individuals have stolen and are stealing millions everyday. There’s no crime in Zimbabwe. Even murderers roam free. What kind of justice system tears down on poor people when the filthy rich thieves roam free? Terrorism justice? Public’s anger is close to maximum now and can burst anytime. There won’t be any prisoners.

      1. Your comment is the best comment I have ever seen in my life so on point and one hundred per cent accurately expressed. Ohhh I cant stop laughing!!!!

  5. Government officials pasi nemi moti munhi wamunenge mapa mari ku gmb yoramba iri ku card kusvika rinhu pasi nehubvinyiriri

  6. this will further push the economy to dollarization. If l can nolonger change my forex to swipe at a supermarket then l will opt to buy the groceries from an informal trader who sells in forex. Shortages in supermarkets will start as goods are moved from the shelves to the black-market where they can be sold in forex. Gono tried this in 2008 and it blew up in his face.

  7. How can using my card to do as many transactions as I want be termed suspicious? Not everyone can access foreign currency at the auction rate. The existence of the social exchange rate is a clear indication that something is wrong. Saka RBZ iri kuda kutotevera tuma US$5 twariri kuswipira vangu kumashops? Hahaha

  8. I like the quote ‘Nobody is defeated until he starts blaming somebody else’. It started with ecocash, now it goes after banks. When is the root culprit going to be found? Or is it well-known and connected ‘non-touchable’ politicians whom they known but cannot apply the law against them?

  9. Your comment is the best comment I have ever seen in my life so on point and one hundred per cent accurately expressed. Ohhh I cant stop laughing!!!!

  10. This is a lost delayed match. RBZ is giving this in public just to justify why they are being paid their huge salaries . You really know where it started and where it’s going. Remember someone picked the wrong handbag and the highest court felt sorry for that mistake.

  11. Buying airtime paying zesa etc zvinoitwa free of charge here. And as for me I have never swiped for Usd tongonzwa nevamwe kuti anombowanika mausd et RBZ rate uuuummm ma1

  12. We end up charging Us$ only in shops siyai vanhu vachengete mhuri dzavo neblack market yagara iripo kubva kubva kare deal with Corporates and RBZ AUCTION

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