RBZ cuts Zipit transaction limits

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has directed all banks to review downwards Zipit transaction limits to ZWL$20 000 a day from ZWL$100,000 following abuse of the facility by illicit foreign currency dealers.

In a statement yesterday the Apex bank unit said it has directed Zimswitch, which operates the Zipit platform to immediately implement the new position.

“The FIU has noted that the existing Zipit transaction limits, which have no monthly cap are being misused, primarily for illicit foreign currency transactions.

“The current Zipit limits of ZWL$100,000 per day allow a customer (subject to any bank-specific limits) to move about ZWL$3 million per month, using a single account, and much more if he or she is multi-banked and/or uses third party accounts,” said the FIU.

It said the above limits have been reached on account that that “very few” individuals in the country earn over ZWL$100,000 a day.

“The limits have been arrived at cognisant of the reality that very few Zimbabweans earn more than ZWL$100,000 per day, and those who do have other payment options available for higher value transactions,” said the FIU.

It said until such time when adequate safeguards are built into the Zipit system to minimise the money laundering risk, Zimswitch will continue to adhere to the prescribed daily and monthly limits of ZWL$20 000 and ZWL$100 000 respectively.

The FIU said it has noted Know Your Customer (KYC) shortcomings in the Zipit platform making it difficult for banks, regulators and law enforcement agencies to speedily identify counterparties to a transaction, or to identify multi-banked users.

Recently the RBZ blocked mobile money agent accounts that were also being used to fuel speculative forex exchange rates, which have been blamed for driving inflation. Some errant Bureaux De Change operators have also paid a heavy penalty after the monetary authority cancelled their licences.

Source – chronicle