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No USD, no service: Steward Bank restricts MasterCard Debit card limits

Study 263, USD, Bond Notes, Steward MasterCard limits

We seem to be getting more and more alteration notifications from our banks or mobile money platforms; most, if not all bearing bad news.

Just this morning we got a blow from EcoCash, informing us that they have suspended their MasterCard online payments service. Now, here is another ‘MasterCard blow’ from Steward bank…


MasterCard Notice

Dear valued customers

Due to the foreign currency challenges, the bank will be implementing international limit restrictions on Steward Bank MasterCard Debit card. Consequently, with effect from the 16th of August 2017, customers will only be able to access value on the debit card against pre-funding in foreign currency and cash in bond notes, up to the monthly limit of $10,000. Customers can load value on their cards in any of their branches. All local transactions will not be affected.

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused which, unfortunately, is beyond our control. We assure all our valued customers that this position will be under constant review in accordance with prevailing market conditions.


In this cash crisis, this likely means stashing your Steward bank MasterCard in the draw since you now strictly need cash to load your card before you can use it.

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15 thoughts on “No USD, no service: Steward Bank restricts MasterCard Debit card limits

  1. Has anyone heard any political party @ any rally mention how they are going to solve this issue? ZERO. The opposition stay num. So what good are they? The mind concept in Zimbabwe will never change.

  2. All banks must open separate accounts for bond notes/rtgs dollars/USD/ZAR/EUR etc. This should have happened on day 1 when bond notes were introduced but it’s not too late to start now. Every transaction within the banking system must bear the correct currency sign – regardless if it’s inter or intra bank. Movement of funds between accounts of different currencies must be accompanied by an exchange rate (even if its 1). This is how banking systems are already designed to work. The rbz deliberately directed banks to mix currencies in one account in orders to mask the theft of depositors true US dollars. I don’t understand how the BAZ was stupid enough not to see through this. Without opening a separate USD account, how do you record a prefunding transaction in the system? If I already have 10K rtgs balance in my account and I prefund it with 10K USD cash deposit, how do you separate the two balances all in the same account?

    1. Banks wanted to do that but were warned against doing so by the so-called RBZ guvnor…

  3. Why stash it in a drawer….if they can’t get the forex moda vaitsvakepi seriously, this only means anoda kushandisa card out of zim shld source the forex,coz these banks of we give them bond vachanotsvaka forex kublack market where they are not allowed…
    So the good think is the limit has been removed u can use what u give them….eat what u catch scenario…zvakatanga nezanu ivo ndovadii….

  4. I welcome this development, hundi kwayo, zviyo kwazvo.

    Either bring back a real currency with proper exchange rate or just adopt a well established currency then agree with country owner of the currency how to support our economy without causing problems

  5. What if my cash is in my Steward bank account already, I hope they treat it as US$ rather than waiting for me to do a separate transaction.

    1. What you will have to do is fund your MasterCard if you want to use it outside Zimbabwe or Online. If now you have $1000 in your account it does not mean your MasterCard is funded with $1000. The system will automatically detect the funds prefunded for the card and the funds in the Steward Bank account

    2. If it wasn’t obvious before, they’ve just spelt it out as clear as day: RTGS$ do not have the same value as bonds or US$. You will need to find MasterCard accounts with real money.

  6. Bring back the industry and jobs we did once have. You can’t ever have enough money generating with our current situation which will never get any better. Does nobody not know that?

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