THE apex bank has criticised the exorbitant rates being levied by banks on most Point of Sale (POS) transactions amid revelations that most card transactions were being treated as international transactions resulting in the high charges.
The move follows public grumbling over the high POS rates which has resulted in many loosing sizable amounts of money under blurred circumstances. Devastated depositors petitioned the RBZ over the high charges with view of being compensated for their lost funds.
In an exclusive interview with The Business Connect, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Dr John Mangudya hinted that the central bank was in the process of engaging local banks over the issue with the view of bringing finality to the woes bedevelling the banking public as a means of promoting usage of plastic money as well as proving convenient solutions to the banking public.
“Currently, most banks are charging the agreed maximum POS charges of US$0.10 for transactions below US$10 and $0.45 for transactions above US$10.However, after engaging the banks following consumer complaints, it was noted that some local card transactions are being treated as international transactions resulting in very high charges.
“This was due to the affected banks’ systems that could not be configured to recognize such instructions as local transactions to facilitate implementation of the agreed charges.The banks whose customers were affected by these charges were engaged by the Central Bank to rectify the challenge. At the time of writing this report the issue had been recently resolved at most major POS acquiringowning banks whilst the Central Bank and the banks work on the other outstanding banks,” said Dr Mangudya.
“It is noteworthy that, the Reserve Bank and the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) have a forum for regular cooperation on matters relating to the enhancement of the quality and affordability of banking services in Zimbabwe.
“The collaborative arrangements have culminated in the revision of interests’ rates and bank charges to the current levels. The engagements are on-going with a collective view of ensuring that the charges for banking products and services remain reasonable. It is envisaged that through this engagement process, the high cash withdrawals charges will be reviewed cognisant of the prevailing low cash withdrawal limits and the resultant multiple withdrawals by the depositors.”
“It will be recalled that the Reserve Bank has emphasised the need to move the economy to cashless society through increased usage of plastic money and other electronic banking delivery channels. As Reserve Bank we are pleased with the progress made to date and stakeholders are urged to scale up the usage of electronic means of payment,” he said.
In June 2016, the Central Bank issued a press statement on the Reduction of Charges on Electronic Means of Payment. Subsequently, financial institutions were advised to implement the agreed maximum POS charges of $0.45 for transactions above US$10 and US$0.10 for transactions below US$10. TheBusinessConnect