June pension pay-outs t risk as Paynet suspends service to all banks

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By Anna Chibamu

FEARS abound that the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) might not be able to process this month’s pension payouts after service provider of the payment platform (Paynet) used by banks to process transactions this week suspended services demanding payment in foreign currency, has learnt.

In a notice Friday, NSSA) told pensioners that pay-outs that were due on 13th of June, 2019 might come “a little later” due to Paynet’s move to shut out all banks in Zimbabwe from accessing and using its service.

Part of the notice by NSSA read: “NSSA wishes to advise its valued pensioners under the Pensions and Other Benefits Scheme and the Accident Prevention and Workers Compensation Scheme that pay-outs that were due on the 13th of June 2019 might be delayed as the provider of the payment platform used by the banks is demanding to be paid in foreign currency, failure of which it will suspend service s to them.

“The Authority is working on a solution to ensure that the June pay-outs are paid at the earliest possible opportunity.”

A few weeks ago Paynet gave notice to banks to pay for the service in US Dollars.

The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe rejected the move and opened negotiations with Paynet on the matter. It has since been learnt that negotiations apparently hit a snag leading to the service provider taking the drastic action.

Agreeing to Paynet demands by banks would have resulted in banks raising the already high bank charges.

Paynet threatened to switch off the banks last week but Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya intervened to try and resolve the impasse.

The service provider blocked all financial institutions late last week triggering chaos within the country’s already desperate banking system

Mangudya’s intervention only resulted in Paynet agreeing for further engagements until the 15th of June

Zimbabwe has two payment systems: Econet for Citizens run by the country’s biggest telecommunications company and foreign owned Paynet for bigger players such as corporations and banks facilitating all online payments.