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Monday, Oct 23rd

Mobile app, card payments switched off in Zimbabwe

Mobile app, card payments switched off in Zimbabwe

From Zimbabwe, ICT companies are experiencing an increase in disruption to operations and income streams amid ongoing foreign currency shortages. EcoCash is the latest to be affected after it suspended foreign transactions on its debit card.

MultiChoice Zimbabwe has also been impacted by worsening liquidity challenges after payment through the CBZ Touch mobile application for CBZ Bank was disabled.

Most banks have also moved to limit local payment options for the pay television platform.

MultiChoice Zimbabwe, which currently accepts the rand and US dollar as currencies for subscription payments, has been issued with a court order forcing it to accept local bond notes.

"We advise that DStv payment option will no-longer be available on CBZ Touch from 11/10/17," reads a message from CBZ to users of its mobile application this week.

This has now affected Econet Wireless' mobile money platform, EcoCash, which had introduced a MasterCard linked debit card for its mobile wallets.

EcoCash announced on Thursday that the MasterCard debit card can no longer be used for international transactions. The card "remains in use in Zimbabwe" as the country moves ahead with the process to localise Visa and MasterCard transaction switches.

"Due to the prevailing foreign currency challenges, we regret to advise that with immediate effect EcoCash will be suspending international transactions on the Debit Card," Econet stated.

This comes as foreign currency continues to dry up in Zimbabwe. Bank account holders with international credit and debit cards have to apply for approval to use their cards when travelling outside Zimbabwe.

Econet said however that with effect from the beginning of next month, its EcoCash MasterCard debit card holders will have to pre-load their cards with foreign currency before they are allowed to use them outside Zimbabwe's borders.

"With effect from 1 November we are happy to advise that you will be able to transact with the Debit Card outside Zimbabwe upon pre-funding your card at your nearest Econet shop," said Econet.

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