Thursday, 7 May 2020

NEW MOBILE MONEY REGULATIONS COME INTO FORCE


MOBILE money and fund transmission service providers will not be allowed to review transaction charges without approval of the Reserve Bank Zimbabwe (RBZ).

With the mobile money interoperability now in place, mobile money services are now deemed to be financial services institutions subject to the RBZ’s recently-gazetted regulations on banking (money transmission, mobile banking and mobile money interoperability).

According to the new regulations, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has, in terms of Section 81 of the Banking Act [Chapter 24:20], indicated that mobile money providers are now regarded as financial institutions subject to apex bank oversight.

“Money transmission providers and mobile banking providers wishing to provide the service of money transmission services and mobile banking must— where they are mobile network operators be licensed in terms of the Postal and Telecommunication Act [Chapter 12:05]; obtain recognition of their payment system in terms of section 3(1) of the National Payment Systems Act [Chapter 24:23] together with the application and annual fees specified in the First Schedule, and must comply with the conditions attached to that recognition and with these regulations.

“On the date of commencement of these regulations, money transmission providers and mobile banking providers recognised in terms of the National Payment Systems Act [Chapter 24:23] are deemed to be licensed under these regulations,” he said.

Prof Ncube said going forward it will be mandatory for every money transmission service provider and mobile banking provider to be connected to a national payment switch, as shall be directed by written notice by the Reserve Bank from time to time that enables interoperability of payment systems and services.

He said for the purposes of connecting to the national payment switch every money transmission provider and mobile banking provider shall install, deploy or commission such infrastructure and connection protocols, credentials and documentation necessary to enable integration with any recognised payment system in terms of the National Payment System Act [Chapter 24:23].

“Every money transmission provider and mobile banking provider shall open and maintain a bank account that is designated exclusively for mobile banking services. Every money transmission provider and mobile banking provider shall ensure that no money is transmitted or is retained on the payment system without a corresponding correct bank balance,” said Prof Ncube. 

He said every money transmission provider and mobile banking service provider must submit periodic returns to the RBZ at intervals as shall be determined by the apex bank from time to time.

The returns, Prof Ncube said, shall include the values and volumes including the cumulative total from the beginning of the year to date, a reconciliation of the mobile account balances between mobile money platform and the core banking system, snapshots of the mobile account balance from the mobile money platform and core banking systems plus all material developments or operational challenges.

“The periodic returns shall be kept for a period of seven years from the day of generation of such returns. Every money transmission provider and mobile banking provider must provide an audit report on the product after six months of operation and annually thereafter.

“Every money transmission provider and mobile banking provider should allow the Reserve Bank read-only real time access to its payment system,” he said.

Prof Ncube said every money transmission provider and mobile banking provider must have policies and procedures for sound internal controls and risk management practices including data protection and cyber security on an ongoing basis.

“Every money transmission provider and mobile money banking providers must not accept a transaction request from a customer if the customer has not yet registered (where registration is required) or has not been authorised or cleared to use the service or where authorisation has been withdrawn or suspended, the transaction amount requested by the customer is outside the minimum and maximum amounts for transaction, which shall be specified from time to time by both parties…” he said.
Prof Ncube said if it comes to the notice of the Reserve Bank that default is made in complying with the regulations, the Reserve Bank may serve penalty orders upon the defaulting mobile money provider. Herald

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