FBC rejects bond notes for its prepaid MasterCard, RBZ to look in to it

Batsirai Chikadaya Avatar

FBC Bank has a prepaid MasterCard which is used to make online payments and transact with outside the country. Today, one of Techzim’s readers alerted us that they visited the bank and attempted to load their prepaid Mastercard with money which included bond notes, they had $20 USD + $15 in bond notes.

To their surprise, FBC bank rejected their bond notes stating that they only accept cash-ins of USD or direct transfers from outside the country. We called FBC and asked whether this was true and they confirmed that their prepaid cards will only accept USD to facilitate their Nostro account and allow online or transaction outside the country, they also informed us that their local Mastercard would no longer work outside the country or online.

This is the first bank to openly confirm that their local Debit Mastercard is no longer work online or outside the country, which makes us wonder if Bond Notes are still being considered 1:1 with USD by the banking community, especially under the watch of the RBZ.

Worryingly, this is the same bank that is issuing out bond notes to its clients on withdrawals but won’t take the same bond notes back, even though clients are still under the premise that their accounts are in USD.

Techzim called the RBZ, the regulator, they said that the Bond Note and USD are at par on a 1:1 basis and should be accepted as equivalent by all businesses and banks. Therefore, the same banks issuing bond notes are meant to accept bond notes as USD equivalent. The RBZ informed Techzim that they would investigate the issue.

Please note that you can call the RBZ with any reports you may have of banks or businesses on 08086770 (Econet Toll-Free) or 08006009 (TelOne Toll-Free)


  1. Hmmm

    Game on!

  2. Anonymous

    Turbulence ahead. Check mate

  3. Anonymous

    The banks are going to suffer more because of the bond notes.Not RBZ and not the government but the banks themselves ,they should have stood up and spoken out when they still had the chance but instead we saw some of them praising the move.In a year or so they will be stuck with bond notes and will need to still fund the customers usd accounts.
    Government has basically shifted the risk of the bond notes from themselves to the banks

    1. Xpla

      Lol you wil suffer not banks, tht is why they are doing this to protect their nostro accounts

  4. cold

    FBC has this correct. You dont need to take USD if you are transacting inside Zimbabwe – so correct that they issue jamesBond Notes to Joe Public for sjopping at choppies and TM.. but you want to travel/buy online (outside of Zim) then you need real cash. In fact, you should apply to RBZ to request permission to buy your overpriced amazon kindle e-books and Dr Dre Beats headphones.

    1. Prince

      But I should be having USD in my account – and when I need to use them, I should have access to them. This is not a privilege, I work for that money, am taxed for earning it (over taxed actually) at least I should have the pleasure of buying my my kindle books – or single malt whisky, or Hello Kitty dolls or what ever I feel like buying without having some wise ass, owl, or men trying to approve or disapprove of my purchase … Is it not enough that I am also taxed, by way of customs duties VAT etc for those purchases?

  5. Mantle

    I think simple reasoning dictates that if you are going to make a payment outside of Zimbabwe then you must have USD money – so the issue of bond notes is an RBZ issue. Some clients like myself will happily use the bond note around Zimbabwe – not that i support the idea but because i have no choice. However as far as Nostro accounts are concerned its vital that FBC accesses your USD so they can also give you the same when you travel or when you want to pay for TUITION or buy goods abroad.

    So i dont see how the author is failing to figure this out. Lets not just argue without reason. If you have an issue with RBZ then come clearly. FBC have actually done an excellent job to open an option for their customers. I need and require this facility. There are a lot of services that Zimbabweans pay for online and with the bond notes and regulations by RBZ we were not going to be able to pay for even our international domains etc.

    So whats your point author. FBC have made a very clever option so you can spend your hard earned USD the way you want. And woti zvaipa futi!!!

    So direct your anger at the correct people. I think the bank’s hands are tied…on your issue of trying to withdraw USD for local usage.

    1. Angry bird

      I think the issue here is that FBC is alone in this new policy of theirs and yet other banks are still treating our current accounts as USD accounts whereas this effectively means all my savings at FBC have been converted to bond notes. If I deposited USD in cash in the past it’s also effectively been converted to bond notes. If i deposit or bank my USD with FBC it’s automatically converted to bond notes (unless I deposit it in the prepaid MasterCard account. But if everyone deposits hard cash into the Mastercard accounts that effectively means FBC has created a USD account and a bond note account for their clients meaning bond notes!= USD anymore).
      A practical problem here is that if someone is traveling abroad, long term, or maybe studying abroad, this means they’re officially stranded because they’ll need to find someone to get them actual USD in Zim, deposit them in person into the Mastercard account every single month they’re abroad. The whole point of this rant is that these banks were at the forefront saying yes to bond notes and you can’t tell me their highly paid risk assessment and management branches did not see this coming. If RBZ lets this go, then it officially means they’re endorsing USD and bond notes accounts as separate entities and other banks will implement the same. If they accept that, then everyone will stop accepting bond notes coz they won’t be equivalent to USD.

  6. Damn

    How do you have money with security features that can be scratched off. Unless youre telling me all the bond notes i have right now are fake

  7. kenn

    Some shops in town are charging a bond rate and a ecocash rate, what is the Government doing about this.


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