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Local Banks Dump Paynet

By Melody Chikono

Zimbabwe banks have dumped Paynet, a subsidiary of Mauritian financial services provider Cambria, as they are developing their own new system expected to be in place mid-July, businessdigest has learnt.

This comes amid indications that the banks will not be settling the Paynet debt in foreign currency as it demanded.

Paynet switched off Zimbabwean banks a fortnight ago over a debt of US$470 000 debt.

The development of the of the system to be known as Bank File Interchange System (BFIS) will be collaboratively funded by all banks and will have the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe as its custodian while riding on the ZimSwitch platform.

ZimSwitch will also provide the hardware for the launch while banks will be making constant contributions towards the upkeep of the system.

BAZ, in a statement issued to the banking public a fortnight ago, advised customers to use alternative systems.

Impeccable sources told businessdigest that banks no longer had an appetite for externally supported bulk payment systems and are aggressively pushing for a locally designed payment platform.

Businessdigest is reliably informed that although the currency issue has been overtaken by the in reintroduction of the Zimbabwean dollar which prohibits settlement of local transaction in foreign currency, banks have already commenced the system integration with test runs conducted this week .

“A committee has been selected and the system is going to be implemented in two phases, but I’m certain mid-July the system will be up and running. This follows a determination that bankers should have their own system to avoid future problems that will put the public at risk,” said a source

The initial phase will involve connecting all banks followed by implementation of the elements that will allow entities to directly connect to the system.

Paynet, served 5 800 corporate clients and 2,5 million beneficiaries and its suspension disrupted salaries for over half a million workers, while Nssa announced the delay in paying out pensions as a result.

The local system is expected to save the bankers a fortune compared to paying a vendor while also saving on scarce foreign currency reserves.

The AIM-listed company had said the 5 000 plus corporate users of Paynet will find it difficult to switch to a new system, however robust with a new system requiring the kind of customisation Paynet had provided to each bank at a far lower cost than would be charged by their core system providers.

Source : Zimbabwe Independent

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