Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


RBZ to step in and force banks to reduce transaction charges

RBZ, Central bank Zimbabwe, Zimbawean Financial Institutions, Monetary Policy Committee

In an article in the state weekly, The Sunday Mail, it is reported that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ ) will introduce a new fee structure tomorrow (Monday, 12 December 2016) that will be modelled along the lines of how the mobile money providers do – charges that are proportional to the amount of the transaction.

Though the banks reduced their service fees in June 2016, clients have still complained of the huge costs of withdrawing their monies, with banks continually reducing the amount that clients can withdraw on a daily basis.

Just last week, a prominent lawyer, Fadzai Mahere, announced a class action to go after the banks for this very deed.No idea as to how favourable these new charges will be towards the client, but if structured along the lines of proportion to the amount, there is a possibility that as withdrawal amounts are reduced on a daily basis, what little confidence the public have in banks may be maintained.

The RBZ will be working on the new structure, it is reported, and an announcement will be made Monday.

The way Techzim sees it, there may be two methods that may be employed in this manner, either percentage based or fee bands. If percentage based, a customer will pay a fixed percentage, say 1% of the money being withdrawn.

Though this is just hypothetical, but this could see customers paying as little as $0.50, depending on the amount withdraw, as opposed to the flat rate of $5 being levied by some banks.

Should the alternative of fee bands be adopted, RBZ will set the amount to be charged for withdrawals of a specific amount. Depending on how “pro-people” this will be, there could be some cheers from the banking public. You’d know a fee bands’ structure from how you are billed by your mobile money provider. To take out between $50 – $80, for example, costs you $1.20.

Interestingly over the last few months since the cash crisis and subsequent announcement of Bond Notes the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe has been quiet on the issue of banking charges, even ignoring a letter by the #ThisFlag movement.

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