ZIMBABWE'S ETRANZACT LAUNCHES INTERNET PAYMENT SYSTEM
Information technology company eTranzact Zimbabwe last week launched the first fully integrated and operational mobile phone and Internet payment system.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, in a speech read on his behalf, said the development was crucial for the country as the world was becoming a global village through use of technology.
"With eTranzact's ability to connect various players in the scheme and the benefit that come with it, I see efficiency and great change, if not a revolution, in the way we handle financial transactions and conduct business," said Gono.
Payment trends in most parts of the world, according to Gono, are towards electronic settlements and this has been responsible for the organised system that the Western world enjoys today.
He said it was a tool to mop up excess liquidity in circulation and assist in the execution of monetary policies.
"As the sector is undergoing purging and refining of systems with some banks under curatorship, and the formulation of mergers and acquisitions as well as closures, which we regret, we welcome solutions which offer greater efficiency plus security," Gono said.
Kingdom Bank, a division of Kingdom Financial Holdings Ltd (KFHL), was the only local bank to be on the eTranzact platform with the successful integration of its Globus banking system. More banks have shown interest in the platform. Gono said the platform would not only benefit KFHL but other banks and the entire nation.
"This is a demonstration of Kingdom's commitment to the financial industry and to Zimbabwe. For banks and merchants, users and our economy to fully benefit from the platform, we need to have more players on it, that is more banks, more merchants and more users. It is advisable for other banks and merchants to sign on the platform as I see tremendous benefits that will accrue to your customers," said Gono.
One of the major goals of eTranzact is to promote a cashless economy within a secure platform. This coincides with the RBZ's aim to ensure that all financial transactions are electronically captured and traceable so as to enhance efficiency and reduce or eliminate fraud, the central bank governor said.
"Like other international payment solutions, eTranzact provides a common platform that enables financial institutions to work together to enhance the performance of the monetary policies. It encourages transparency as transactions can be traced from start to finish and eliminates fraud. The net result of this will be fewer, more efficient or quality banks," he said.
The system, which uses GSM telephones, enables account holders to shop securely, effect local and international money transfers online, pay bills, purchase airtime through mobile telephone short messaging service.
eTranzact enables account holders to pay for goods and services from participating merchants such as Econet Wireless, TM Supermarkets, Greatermans, Exor Fuel, Medix Pharmacy and utility providers such as Zesa and the Harare City Council.
The payment system marks the transition from a cash economy of physical currency and cheques to an electronic-based business environment.