Banks colluded on Paynet: Cambria Samir Shasha

19 July 2019

Money Transfer

LONDON-listed Paynet Zimbabwe’s parent firm Cambria Africa Plc, has accused banks of working in collusion and as a “cartel” to take a unified position of refusing to pay for service fees in US dollars when in fact they had different contracts and should have performed individually.

Cambria Africa chief executive officer (CEO) Samir Shasha, said yesterday that despite the banks having signed individual contracts, they decided to act collectively through their association to refuse to pay in US dollars, resulting in them being disconnected.

Paynet Zimbabwe provided an outsourced bulk payments transfer platform linking 22 financial institutions and over 1 200 corporate institutions in all sectors of the economy.

The payment system was also used by major banks including CBZ, CABS, Nedbank and Standard Chartered, among others, which have all been negatively affected, after they collectively refused to pay in US dollars since February, 2019.

Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) executive director Sij Biyam, however, said yesterday that an alternative bulk payments system, Bank File Interchange System (BFIS), had been successfully developed and delivered to the banks, which he said were very happy with the product.

Banks had running individual contracts with Paynet Zimbabwe; a unit of Mauritius registered Cambria Africa unit, Payserv Africa, for the bulk payments system that was denominated in US dollars prior to scrapping of the 1 to 1 parity in February.

But after the parity policy was scrapped and the interbank market introduced under a liberalised foreign exchange system in February this year, the banks started refusing to pay Paynet invoices in US dollars. Read the full article on The Herald here.