According to a report published in the Newsday earlier today, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has in the past five months (August 2016-December 2016) utilised more than $300 million in current transactions through Visa and MasterCard.
Speaking at the inaugural Gold Sector Awards, the RBZ Governor, Dr John Mangudya stated it was the public’s perception that the RBZ allocates 100% of the foreign exchange in the country when in fact the RBZ is only responsible for 25-30% of the foreign exchange in the country.
The Governor went on to say that VISA and Mastercard use are negatively affecting Nostro accounts in a situation he described as “whilst others are exporting for productivity others are busy using cards”.
The Governor also said the continued usage VISA and Mastercards was contributing to the challenges in adequately allocating foreign exchange funds as they were not going back into productivity.
On Monday, 23 November, Techzim reported that the RBZ and VISA Sub-Saharan Africa had set up a local payment settlement service which will see all local VISA transactions settled by a local authority.
The transactions in question here are the foreign transactions or online transactions being conducted by Zimbabweans using locally issued VISA/Mastercards.
Techzim is yet to establish what the RBZ decision or course of action with regard to VISA and Mastercard foreign use will be, but the comments by the Governor coupled with the introduction of a local settlement service hint at a possible suspension of VISA and Mastercard use for international transactions.