THE signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe three years ago, was a bad move, as it has made telecommunication companies to develop more infrastructures compared to banks, due to the structure of the agreement.
by BUSINESS REPORTER
Speaking at the launch of the Making Access Possible Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion, director Hennie Bester said the MoU restricted banks from charging for automated teller machines and other encashment charges.
“Banks infrastructure in Zimbabwe has not been increasing at all, bank infrastructure is very low. The MoU restricted banks to do transaction-based revenue,” he said.
Bester said the MoU enabled the telecommunications sector to develop infrastructure that was well ahead of the banks.
He said the banks needed to work together on the infrastructure because one or two banks could not do that.
Bester said Zimbabweans lost trust in banks and they had moved into to mobile operators.
Banks signed a MoU with the central bank in 2013 and it lapsed after one year.
The MAP reports showed that most people use mobile operator platforms to transact and were willing to pay per transaction, than transacting through the bank.
He said the monthly charges were prohibitive for the poor.
Through the MoU, banks agreed to cut charges below their costs, thereby opening room for mobile operators. Banks import the cash and were not allowed to charge for that cash.
“Banking infrastructure is low, while mobile infrastructure is very high. Stop tying banks on their ankles,” he said.
Bester said banks were critical and there was need to invest in banking infrastructure for the development of the economy.