28 May 2019 – On The Herald
Costa Mano Online News Editor
Payments technology company, Zimswitch, will be hosting the second edition of the Zimswitch Digital Payments Conference in the resort town of Nyanga from tomorrow to Saturday.
Close to 150 local and international delegates are expected to take part in the event that will be held under the theme “Digital Economy for Africa”. The conference is an open forum that aims to foster collaboration and co-invention of the future of payments while presenting an active platform for discussion, engagement and networking.
SADC Banking Association (SADC BA) is also expected to participate. SADC BA is a committee of all the bankers associations from the SADC region. They are the drafters of the payment strategy for SADC essentially driving regional coordination on payments over the SADC Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) platform.
In an interview, Zimswitch deputy chief executive Mr Zabron Chilakalaka said his company is positioned to be the local hub for high volume-low value transactions across SADC RTGS hence the importance of SADC BA at this conference as a key stakeholder.
“Our inaugural conference was aimed at sustaining the use of digital payments in Zimbabwe. As you are aware, the country witnessed a sharp rise in electronic payments over the years hence the need to maintain the digital momentum. We are glad participants have created sufficient headroom for incremental volume. In addition, there has been a good growth in infrastructure such as POS devices from approximately 60,000 terminals in 2018 to above 90,000 terminals in 2019. We are also seeing increased use of alternative channels, particularly mobile,” he said.
Mr Chilakalaka said at the inaugural conference, emphasis was also on fostering collaboration and interoperability and they are pleased that there has been great progress in that regard.
ZB Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer Mr Ronald Mutandagayi will be the keynote speaker at the event that will have a rich list of speakers drawn from local and international payment brands and technology experts.
Said Mr Chilakala:”Our speakers this year come from some of the largest brands that are pushing the digital payments momentum in the country and beyond. The conference brings unique technology showcases by our partners and sponsors, EFT Corporation Zimbabwe, E-Solutions, Paynow and Tendo Electronics. Mastercard will host a networking dinner event on Thursday. We believe that attendees will have a great experience, sharing insights, shaping the digital economy for Africa and leave the resort destination of Nyanga with awesome memories of the mystic Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.”
Established in 1994 with a partnership of 6 banks, Zimswitch processed its first Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transaction in 1995 and had its first Point Of Sale (POS) transaction in 1996.
Between 2001 and 2015, the company introduced new payment streams ranging from V-payments (online shopping), ZIPIT (mobile money transfer) and also linked settlement into RTGS and went regional to link local banks into SADC thereby was voted the best e-commerce service provider.
Some accolades Zimswitch has collected include being the Best E-Commerce Platform Provider, 1st Runner-up for Customer Focused Innovation (CCAZ) 2017, 11th position and in business to business sector (MAZ Superband), 1st Runner-up in the Money Transfer Sector (MAZ Superbrands) 2017 and 2018. Zimswitch provides access to every customer of its participants mainly member banks, participating microfinance institutions and mobile money participants. The number of users is in excess of 5 million and the month of April witnessed approximately 2 million active users.