Zimswitch explains ZIPIT outage yesterday

Leonard Sengere Avatar
ZIPIT explains outage

Yesterday, the 25th of September 2017, ZIPIT (Zimswitch Instant Payment Interchange Technology) went offline and as the interbank transfer processor has grown in popularity, panic gripped the populace. The facility which connects over 20 banks is integral to most people’s transactions especially as more and more Zimbabweans use mobile banking and plastic money.

As thousands failed to access ZIPIT many went on social media and started spreading the message that ZIPIT had been suspended. The deterioration being witnessed in the economy is the reason most people find it easy to believe the worst and so it spread that ZIPIT had indeed been scrapped.

ZIPIT however was not suspended. Zimswitch’s deputy general manager, Mr Zabron Chilakalaka spoke to the Herald and had this to say,

It has not been suspended or scrapped, from our end, ZIPIT is just undergoing a system upgrade. You will realise that before end of day today selected banks will be back up and running but by tomorrow everything will be sorted

It was yesterday that he spoke and sure enough by the end of the day yesterday some banks were already up. Today everything seems to be back to normal.

Our only gripe with them is that they should have communicated that there was a planned system upgrade. The banks surely should have known about the system upgrade and they should have communicated early. Surely there must be more to this than ZIPIT is letting on.

The real reason for the outage is probably system failure and not a planned system upgrade. If it was a planned upgrade they would have communicated that to the banks and they would have communicated to us. The banks are the ones that actually gave it away. They had no idea what was going on. Here is the message I got from my bank,

Please be advised that our service provider ZIMSWITCH is currently down. This is affecting POS transactions and Mobile banking. Kindly bear with us as ZIMSWITCH works to restore services.

Sometimes I feel these institutions like to say ‘any inconvenience is sincerely regretted’ but do not really mean it. In this case that apology was not even forthcoming from ZIMSWITCH. If they did not want to inconvenience us and were planning a system upgrade that would deprive of service they should have told us about it before. We would have planned accordingly.

I hate that ‘we are sorry for any inconvenience’ message. Their sorry does not help when you miss a payment that has a deadline, something that happened to me before. Had I been told beforehand I would have made arrangements.

ZIPIT has grown in importance as this push away from cash continues. The platform now processes over 14 million transactions per month and so any outage will cause mayhem. So next time ZIPIT, communicate beforehand.


  1. MacdChip

    Poor Change Management from Zimswitch. Any critical infrastructure must not be put offline for upgrade or whatever!

  2. Sagitarr

    When you find top personnel rushing to The “Rhodesia” Herald, something fishy is going on. No critical journalism there – only the sunshine form exists there to retain jobs. Years back there used to be some sort of SLA with penalties for all switch members, I wonder if this is still in place.

    1. MacdChip

      Problem in Zim is that we have a whole generation of leadership be it in politics, business or social who still live in their generation and treat technology with suspecious eyes. They do not understand it, but want to controll it.

      Unfortunately, you cannt controll what you do not understand. There might have been genuine reason for the fall, but thats not how to run something which is meant save the country.

  3. Norman Ings

    Link : Https//:Twitter.com/Drmambondiani/media
    This is soooo unacceptable, i dont even know if your platform was made for jolly-pading or business, what kind of EDI/money transfer system is this that needs to go offline for an upgrade to be done, whatever the system architecture ,you got , its got to be revised, we give you 100% commitment to your platform and you give the nation a half baked system. Someone needs to take responsibility Of this mess because this was so unprofessional from the COO to the CEO especially when Zimswitch publishes conflicting statements on what actually transpired. DONT LIE TO US ABOUT THE FUTURE with ZIPIT BECAUSE IT IS WAAAAY BEHIND WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW LIKE MICROSOFT DOS…. #please
    I might move my buzz n partners to Paynet i heard its doing instant payments just fine.