EcoCash liquidates mobile agents funds

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
CASSAVA Smartech’s mobile money service, EcoCash, has started liquidating funds held by mobile money agents to their bank accounts in compliance with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s directive.

The move follows the suspension and susbequent abolishment of mobile money agents by the central bank. In August this year, the Government announced that it had with immediate effect abolished mobile money wallet agents as they were no longer serving any legitimate purpose. Authorities further tightened regulations to deal with illegal foreign currency dealings among other financial malpractices that had been blamed for sabotaging the economy. The RBZ has clarified that the liquidation of the funds can only be done after the Apex Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) have satisfied itself of the legitimacy of the source of funds. EcoCash has since obliged with the regulations.

“We wish to advise all EcoCash agents of the liquidation process as approved by RBZ,” it said in a notice.

The company said all transactions would be subject to the two percent IMTT (Intermediate Money Transfer Tax) to be effected retrospectively from October 1, 2018.

“All transactions above $100 000 are subject to approval by the FIU,” said EcoCash, adding that all documents should be certified by the police and for further details the agents should contact their respective account managers.

For amounts up to $50 000, both sole traders and companies are required to fill in the liquidation forms as well as show proof of bank accounts.

EcoCash also said for amounts ranging from $50 000 and above in the case of a sole trader, apart from the aforementioned requirements, the agent is required to prove source of funding.

In addition, in the case of companies, the agent is also required to show proof of source of funds as well as providing a three-month bank statement.

For amounts above $100 000, sole traders and companies, apart from the requirements started above, this is subject to approval by the regulator (RBZ through the FIU).

The mobile money agent system had become popular through facilitating cash-in and cash-out services, as well as creating job opportunities but of late had become notorious for aiding illegal foreign currency deals and manipulation of the exchange rate. — @okazunga

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