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Commercial banks in Mozambique which use the Simo/Interbancos network are losing five million meticais (EUR 71,000) a day from the ATM network blackout which started on Friday, the CTA says.
“For the banking system that depends on the Sociedade Interbancária em Moçambique [Simo] network, the daily loss is estimated at five million meticais,” head of the financial policy area at the Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique(CTA) Bernardo Cumaio told a press conference.
Cumaio said that Mozambique urgently needed to find a solution to the problem, which was negatively affecting business in the country.
“The private sector demands that the payment system be reinstated for the resumption of business transactions, the flow of economic activity and the improvement of the business environment,” he added.
CTA figures indicate that the daily billing of large shopping centres has fallen by 90% and that of hotels by 70%.
Cumaio went on to detail other associated costs, such as people having to go into bank branches and wait in queues and reputational damage.
“Companies have had to reschedule their activities, which means an increase in operating costs,” Cumaio said, expressing surprise at the “silence of the regulator” and other relevant financial system entities.
“This situation contradicts efforts towards modernisation, expansion and financial inclusion,” he said.
At a press conference on Sunday, Simo management admitted it had no idea when its ATM and terminal payment network, inoperative since Friday, would be up and running again.
“It is difficult to know when everything will be ready, but we are doing our best to resolve the matter quickly,” chairwoman of Simo’s board of directors Gertrudes Tovela said, adding that the blackout was due to a misunderstandings with Bizfirst, the Portuguese IT company which manages its transactions.
A press release from Bizfirst blamed the blackout of the ATMs and card operations of most Mozambican banks on lack of payment and other breaches of contract by Simo.
Official figures indicate that Simo processes 465,000 transactions internally and 14,000 externally every day, together worth about 600 million meticais (EUR 8.5 million).Source: Lusa