The Financial Intelligence Unit has ordered ZIMSWITCH to put daily and monthly transaction limits on ZIPIT to minimize the use of the electronic platform for money laundering.
The development will see ZIPIT daily and monthly transactions being capped at ZW$20 000 and ZW$100 000 respectively.
In a letter authored by FIU Director General Mr W Kapofu to Zimswitch Chief Executive Officer Mr Cyril Nyatsanza yesterday, the former indicated that the existing ZIPIT daily and monthly transaction limits allowed customers to misuse the platform for illicit foreign currency transactions.
“The current ZIPIT limits of ZW$100 000 per day allow a customer (subject to any bank-specific limits) to move about ZW$3 million per month, using a single account, and much more if he/she is multi-banked and uses third party accounts”
“The FIU has noted KYC shortcomings in the ZIPIT system that make it difficult for banks, regulators and law enforcement agencies to speedily identify counter-parties to a transaction, or to identify multi-banked users”
“Until such a time when adequate safeguards are built into the ZIPIT system to minimise the money laundering risk, ZIMSWITCH is directed to implement, with immediate effect, daily and monthly ZIPIT limits of ZW$20 000 and ZW$100 000 respectively,” the statement reads.
The unit says the limits were informed by the reality that few Zimbabweans earn more than ZW$100 000 per day, adding that those who do have other options available for higher value transactions.
The development comes after the central bank won the legal fight against Ecocash to limit its agent line transactions to ZW$100 000 per month. The mobile and electronic money platforms were being used for Forex trading in the black-market. This saw 16% of transactions being carried out through Ecocash and 84% being carried out through banks and other platforms.