Techzim today came upon a notification published in The Herald by one of Zimbabwe’s internationally owned banks, Standard Chartered, stating that the bank has cancelled the use of its Visa cards outside Zimbabwe with immediate effect.
The action has been taken to “ensure best use of the increasingly scarce foreign currency resources” due to the poor funding of all bank’s Nostro accounts, where Visa and/or Master Cards payments are drawn from.
However, it is not an outright ban, as the bank states that their clients who wish to use their cards outside Zimbabwe may apply for ‘special consideration’ prior to their travel.
Here is the statement in full:
To Our Valued Clients
We regret to advise that we have cancelled the automatic use of your VISA debit card outside Zimbabwe with immediate effect. However, Clients who wish to use their cards outside Zimbabwe may still apply for **special consideration prior to travel. Please note, there are NO changes to the local functionalities of the VISA Debit Card.
This decision has been taken to ensure best use of the increasingly scarce foreign currency resources which is disbursed in line with the Priority List issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe if and when available.
Once again, we regret this move and apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. We will continue to monitor the environment and should there be any other changes, you will be notified accordingly.
How do I apply for **Special Consideration in advance of travel?
Clients who wish to use their cards outside Zimbabwe may apply for special consideration at least 72 hours before their date of departure. Customers are requested to submit evidence of all the expected expenses to be incurred whilst travelling outside the country at any Standard Chartered branch or to their Relationship Manager. Alternatively customers can send their application to firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching all documentation which confirms travel dates and expenses expected to be incurred.
All advance applications will be reviewed in line with the Priority List Guidelines on external payments announced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 2016.
Will other banks be following suit to limit the use of the hard to find green back? Ecocash, through their Master Card have already been reducing the amounts that their clients can transact, down from $5,000 to $1,100 and now to $500 per month.