The reserve bank – Bank of Botswana- is encouraging the nation to use digital and mobile transactions during this period when government is making efforts to minimise movements to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“This is broadly for purposes of financial and economic inclusion, but more especially in the current circumstances, in support of social distancing, reduction of movement of people and cash handling,” said Dr. Seamogano Mosanako, Head of Communications and Information Services at Bank of Botswana. Dr. Mosanako said commercial banks have committed to reducing the charges for digital transactions by at least 25 percent.
In response, the BoB has raised limitations on mobile transactions from P5 000 to P10 000 with the maximum daily transaction hiked from P10 000 to P15 000 and maximum monthly aggregate raised from P20 000 to P30 000. However, Dr. Mosanako said Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) should continue to be diligent and ensure compliance with existing frameworks on anti-money laundering and combating of inancing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
She also implored MMOs to reduce prices and promote the use of mobile money and other digital platforms for transactions. Meanwhile BoB said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank is committed to acting decisively and timely to maintain price and financial stability in order to support economic activity. Although banks have remained open as part of essential services, not all individuals will access their facilities to use brick and mortar methods of banking, as law enforcement agencies implement strict regulations on lockdown.