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RBZ acts on money transfer agents' consumer rip-off

by Staff reporter
23 Aug 2019 at 07:33hrs | Views
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is battling to resolve the issue of depositors being ripped off by mobile money transfer agents when cashing out.

This emerged on Tuesday during a consumer and community engagement outreach programme in Binga organised by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), which also featured the RBZ and the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ).

RBZ head oversight and risk management (National Payment Systems financial market) Mr Douglas Muranda said: "The issue of high (cash out) charges is giving us headaches too. It's illegal and it's not allowed." Mr Muranda said they were working flat out to ensure the menace is addressed.

"We hope the situation would be addressed soon, but we are grappling with it," he said.

"It's an illegal practice and people can report businesses that put a percentage on cash out transactions to the RBZ department called Financial Intelligence Unit. You can also report to EcoCash, Telecash and OneMoney."

The remarks by the RBZ come at a time when citizens are being robbed of their hard-earned cash by mobile money transfer agents who are demanding up to 40 percent of the amount one would be cashing out.

Shortages of physical cash in banks, following the practice of hoarding cash by illegal street currency dealers, has exposed the unscrupulous dealers.

While EcoCash has instructed subscribers who are forced to pay a premium for cash-out transactions to report agents ripping them off, not many are keen to do so.

The consumer and community engagement outreach programme was a first if its kind, which falls within the International Telecommunications Union standards and recommendations where collaboration of regulators is encouraged.

Source - the herald