According to a report by The Standard, VISA, the global payments service is setting up a local payment settlement service which will see all local VISA transactions settled by a local authority.
VISA will be introducing a National Net Settlement Service next month meant to process, clear, report, and settle all domestic transactions allowing Zimbabwean banks to carry out interbank settlements via Visa cards within the country’s territory, something VISA has done in the past in countries like Nigeria and Uzbekistan.
The local settlement system comes at a time when local banks had begun to suspend the use of VISA cards locally requesting their clients to revert back to Zimswitch system for any local transactions.
Since there was no local settlement service in place Banks would be forced to settle local VISA transactions with their depleting off-shore accounts in USD for local Bond Note transactions.
Speaking on the new development RBZ’s Deputy Director for Financial Markets welcomed VISA’s investment in Zimbabwe which he says will ensure that local transactions be settled locally while international payments are settled internationally.
Techzim believes that this new development will not have much of an impact on the ordinary Zimbabwean as VISA is still more or less an elite service, also, VISA card transactions are more expensive to use locally than ZimSwitch so it is difficult to determine where and to who this new service would actually apply to, most Zimbabweans have VISA cards to make international payments.
Techzim is also under the impression that through this move VISA and our local Banks have now separated VISA USD payments (international) and Bond Note payments (local) successfully at a time where some local banks had begun to reject bond note deposits in international payment accounts, requested clients to revert back to pre-paid USD systems set limits on all international VISA transactions and completely suspended local use of VISA cards.