RBZ not happy with how Zimbabweans use their VISA/Mastercards

Batsirai Chikadaya Avatar
Bank cards, Visa, MasterCard, Prepaid Card, account open local curency, bank charges ZWL

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.


  1. Anonymous

    If they go ahead and suspend, will the local banks that issue MasterCards and Visa still still have their licenses with these card companies??? Are there not any strict policies for Visa/Master card customers?

  2. follow

    RBZ we are not happy with the way you are running the banking sector

    we are using our money mind you

    1. Patriot

      we are using our money mind you

      and that is the problem – you are competing with the government for real US dollars when you should be using bond notes.

      You should be patriotic and avoid importing goods with ‘your’ money – it is better utilised by the government on vital goods like German cars and foreign trips for VIPs.

      1. Natie

        hahahahahahaha… Brilliant

  3. Martin Chamambo

    and what does this statement mean ” will see all local VISA transactions settled by a local authority. “

  4. Nesongano

    If the ban use of locally issued Visa and Mastercard then that would be the height of unfairness. As a banking customer I am using my Visa card against my money as deposited in the bank. Alternatively, they must come with a policy which says if I repatriated forex to Zimbabwe I should then be allowed to use my Visa card.

  5. Faisal

    Visa and Mastercard are international settlement platforms. For the RBZ to suspend international settlements via these cards is not solving the problem. It’s like saying stop importing anything. We know what the real issues are. Production is low, our economy is shrinking. Despite the fact that imports bleed the economy, they are very much necessary for us to have any kind of ‘economy’ to talk about. So RBZ, talk to the source of the problem, stimulate production, siyanai nevanhu varikutenga zvavanoda nemari dzavo

    1. anopa silver

      well said at Faisal ,

  6. Annoymous

    One can’t help but shake their head in disbelief. Mangudya uye akuzoita mashura anopfuura a Gono.

  7. Macd Chip

    Foreign currency is not yours to control Mr Mangudya. The only way to control it is to attract it.

    Government starting by the president needs to live by example so that you can be taken serious. How much so far this year have been spent on travelling to foreign countries by our government?

    Are you settling those payments using bollars?

    You need to put your house in order, then start to make adjustments. What it looks like now is that all what you are doing is to make sure that foreign currency is always available for gvt travels.

    Im yet to hear that a High Powered delegation which was going to sign mega deals failed to fly because of foreign currency shortage.

  8. Mukaranga

    I would like to think this aticle did not capture the facts in as far as use of visa is concerned.What was happening was that through use of visas for local transactions the funds were being drawn from the offshore account(Nostro account) which is not sustainable.Nostro account should only fund imports.So the new visa payment being introduced ensure that you can use your visa card for a local transaction and settlement of that transaction happens locally without drawing from the Nostro account as was the previous scenario.

    1. Macd Chip

      What if you are buying from Aliexpress or ebay using you visa or mastercard? Does your logic still apply

    2. Wanzwa

      If Visa and Mastercards are being used for “local transactions” (that is a local issuing bank and local acquiring bank), even though they may may be settled outside of the country, it is just movement of forex from one local bank’s nostro account to another local bank’s nostro. The country has actually lost nothing.

      1. Mukaranga

        Exactly that movement is not desirable since a bank would want to use its Nostro account to fund imports and not draw down to finance a local transaction evenif its going to another bank Nostro.Bear in mind that each bank has its own separate obligations to honor.

        1. Wanzwa

          These local banks are both issue and acquirers. From a nostro perspective, they gain when cards issued by other banks transact on their ATM and POS machines and they “lose” when their cardholders transact on POS and ATM owned by other banks. That’s the nature of the card game, you can’t have your cake and eat it.
          Most banks try to balance that out so they do don’t have to remit additional funds after Visanet has run its daily net settlement. It’s only a problem where you have a big imbalance in that local bank issues a large number of cards but has very few POS merchants and ATMs.

    3. Taps

      Well visa is cheaper than the local alternative. Zimswitch charges are ludicrous especially as it is just a transaction platform. Hapana team yakagara kuback yaking hard currency to each bank. Fix zimswitch and oeople wont need to use visa locally

  9. Kishimoto

    Productivity my ass so he is saying that I should not pay for my netfilx subscription simply because it’s not productive someone tell this fool to go f*** himself

  10. Anonymous

    This is a funny world we live in, we work so hard for our money in these tough conditions, and THEY still tell you how you should spend it. So we basically are slaves in this country. Also Investors will never find zimbabwe as a suitable candidate until corruption is solved, RBZ will never put the big wigs who are milking this country of its resources under the spotlight. All we can do is sit back and watch this beautiful country rot away.

  11. SlowVybz

    Who bought a $1,3 million ring ? Was that production , how many people combined spend that much ,,who is renting a $500 I house in Dubai . If Magudya can fix that , then we can take him seriously

  12. James

    So you want to manage my hard earned cash. What’s next, How many times i should sleep with my wife? ridiculous

  13. M Majome

    I’m surprised noone is talking about how restrictions to VISA/Mastercard which have been ongoing for a while affect the tourism sector. Heard some top guy urging them to bring cash when they visit Zim because they can’t use their cards. Some have become stranded here. This is the final knell in the coffin and the Minister in charge wants the top tourism job in the world

    1. Wanzwa

      It’s not affecting tourists when they want to swipe, especially since so many merchants now have POS machines. They just can’t withdraw cash because there is no cash in the ATMs. Tour operators (and every other sane person) prefer the cash because it’s real USD, whereas when a tourist swipes and although the cardholder is debited in forex the merchant gets RTGS dollars deposited into his account.

      1. kd

        i want hard cash baba i receive money through a international bank so i can pay rentals during my stay in zim so where exactly should i get the money if you cant even supply the pama atm’s? cant tel a company to put my salary mu western union who will have the time to do that? at least if you give an amount limit for the cash withdrawn

  14. Taps

    Lol not happy. Loke tatsamwisa baba kumba. It feels more like a threat to be honest. Chances are they are gonna shut visa transactions down soon enough its coming.

  15. Anonymous

    It was coming and more to come

  16. Ian

    Why not ask the mugabe family to put some of the billions of dollars they’ve put aside for a rainy day back into the country they’ve stolen it from that would help solve a lot of the countries problems and increase the whole economy

  17. Ian

    You can only fool some of the people some of the time you can’t fool all the people all of the time .does it not say in the bible somewhere greed gluttony are sins .beware the ides of march Zimbabwean honest people are waking up to the fact they’re being robbed of the right to a honest life

  18. Tee

    what will happen to our children studying outside the country how will we send money for they upkeep

  19. mbuya oni


  20. h,c hm

    Great idea. People should use Zimswitch for local transactions

  21. Mangudhota

    Ko vana president vari kutambisa $500 million, woda kuchema ini ndatenga mazhanje ne mango zve $5?

    Hurumende idzi dzinombo vhoterwa naniko?

  22. Macd

    There is no country without exchange control mechanisms. I saw this coming, i know some people who would bank 60k here and withdraw using Visa to a daily maximum of $3 000 into their company (tuckshop) in Australia . Within 20 days the money has been externalzed. What the Rbz should do is what they did before $ came. Where they would randomly ask for Cd1 paperwork once suspicious transactions have been detected or set the limit to say $50 or $100 a day to allow honest citizens to transact whilst outside Zimbabwe.

    1. Anonymous

      How will honest citizens transact on 50 or 100 a day? Its also a shameful lie that ‘externalization’ is responsible for the country’s problems. The truth is that if everyone was dealing with USD from the beginning then ‘externalization’ would not mean anything because you can only withdraw what you deposited in the first place. Those people who banked 60k you mentioned, was it ill gotten money or what? If it was their money then where is the problem? How would that result in someone else failing to withdraw his/her money from the bank?

    2. Elite

      You’re worrying about the small-fry, mate. The people you should be worried about are those who externalise hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars at a time. I can assure you they don’t seek approval from the RBZ – they make demands to it. Paperwork is for little people.

  23. Medhemu

    Ummmm who gives a rat’s a$$ if you’re not happy? It’s my money to do with as I wish!!

  24. Patrick

    Unbelievably bad “journalism”. The worst writing I’ve seen come out of Zim all day. God!!! You people live on another fucking planet or something. You sound like you have been extracted from 1752, directly to 2017!

    1. Kilotango


  25. Gukashkukash


  26. Gukashkukash


  27. jack albert

    iF YOUR PUT AN UPPER LIMIT ON EXPENDITURE,BY EXTENSION YOU ALSO LIMIT PROFITS. be it daily withdrawals,card usage,or boarder controls on currency.

  28. Anonymous

    Maguta kunyarwa manje.. why do u want to control how i used my hard earned money…imi hamuna maforeign accounts ipapa… nxaaaaa tai mushe gavhuna

  29. Chimbonditanga uone

    Hurumende yezimbabwe you are so disgusting you have failed to run the country .and your services are no longer required mind you.you are the waste stupuid government under the sun.your inexprienced skill and unacknowledged changing of things is caused economicy fractures.nxa uncivilized group of zanu

  30. hendyson

    this is nonsense.

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