Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) says the suspension of Paynet services will not affect transactions such as RTGS, ZIPIT, mobile payments, internet banking and swift transfers.
This, however does not completely mean Zimbabwean banks are out of the woods as Paynet Zimbabwe is the single supplier which facilitates major bulk payments, and its absence will have a negative impact. Just last week, NSSA announced that the facilitation of pensions would be delayed. This could go as far as disrupting salaries for over half a million workers in the country.
The major concerns raised by Cambria (Paynet’s parent company)is that Zimbabwe banks where in breach of contract as they had agreed earlier that services would be paid for in US dollars. But due to scarcity of forex in the country, banks resorted to paying for the services in the local currency.
In a statement by Cambria, 2018 banks netted $5 in profit for each dollar invoiced to them. Collectively in 2018 banks netted over US$22 million in profits via charges to their account holders for services provided by Paynet, and they have alleged that banks do have foreign currency but they are too reluctant to pay.
According to newzwire, Vice President of the Bankers Association said Paynet Zimbabwe as a local company should also accept local currency.
“We pay them (Paynet) in USD, but our argument is that since they are a local business, they must be paid locally or they will have to queue up (for forex) like everyone else to be paid.”
Zimbabwe banks have a pending debt pending debt of US$470 000. As an alternative individual banks may end up reverting to manual entries in the interim.