Which Bank Cards Are Working To Make Online Payments In Zimbabwe?

William Chui Avatar
Bank cards, Visa, MasterCard, Prepaid Card, account open local curency, bank charges ZWL

This post has been coming for the past year, as the goal posts have been continually changing. One minute your card can make online payments for $5,500, the next it’s reduced to $1,100 and before you can say “bond notes” it’s reduced further to $500. While it will go on to change a bit eventually being stopped then asking for US dollars only the ever-changing conditions make it difficult for people to remember.

A number of people contact Techzim asking us what are the positions, what cards are working online, which card can make payments using your bond notes or RTGS balances. As we don’t bank with all the banks, efforts to find out from banks have not been easy as they wouldn’t want to divulge this information (I still don’t know what one will do with it?).

Anyhow, this is the first post (probably in many) that I’ll create that’s a working article and will be completed with your help. I’ll start off with the banks that I know and update the article as you comment what the situation is with your bank.

Here goes:

  • Agribank – no information available, please advise
  • BancABC – no information available, please advise
  • Barclays Bank
    VISA card
    Card can be used to make online payments and international ATM withdrawals. You can swipe at a POS machine internationally. Limits are $100/day POS/swipe and $50/day withdrawal internationally (with a service charge of $5/transaction.)
    UPDATE: At the beginning of November, Barclays announced that any cross-border use of their VISA card now requires prior arrangement and approval by the bank.
  • CABS – no information available, please advise
  • CBZ – no information available, please advise
  • Ecobank
    They offer a card that needs to be pre-funded with US dollars. According to this post, the card has a maximum of $500 per pre-load but has the advantage of a transaction charge of $1 per transaction.
  • EcoCash VCN – MasterCard
    The card has been suspended currently and will be reactivated on 1 November 2017. When it returns you will only be able to pre-fund the card with US dollars. Daily limits will probably be based on how much you have in the account, however, I assume RBZ limits you to $10,000 a day.
    You’ll need to visit an Econet shop with $5 (not sure if they will accept EcoCash as a payment or they’ll want it in US dollars) to get your hands on their card. UPDATE: EcoCash has indefinitely suspended the relaunch of this card.
  • FBC
    They offer a prepaid card that needs to be pre-funded with US dollars. They were one of the first to go this route late last year.
  • MBCA – no information available, please advise
  • Metbank – no information available, please advise
  • NBS – no information available, please advise
  • NMB Bank
    VISA card
    You can use your RTGS/transfer/bond notes with this card. Maximum currently is $50 swipe or online payment daily (the total for these two options is $50; if you swipe for $20 you can only make an online payment for $30) and your international ATM withdrawal is based on the amount that your branch in Zimbabwe is issuing out. As of today that hovers between $14-$20.NMB also offers a pre-funded card that you can put US dollars in and transact to your heart’s content. UPDATE: NMB will be going to a strictly pre-funded card effect 8 November 2017.
  • POSB – no information available, please advise
  • Steward Bank
    Their Debit card now needs to be pre-funded with US dollars in order to make payments online or out the country. You can not use bond notes and/or RTGS/transfer balances.

    Visa Card
    Known as the Globetrotter, can be used by both Steward Bank account holders and non Steward Bank account holders.

  • Standard Chartered Bank
    VISA card
    Card can be used to make online payments and international ATM withdrawals. You can swipe at a POS machine internationally. Limits are around $100/day (however, one reader states that the bank is only allowing $100 per week) .
    They are not opening new accounts (well, unless you are a high-value/high net-worth customer, or that you already have a corporate account with them)
  • Stanbic Bank
    VISA card
    The limit is now $100 until the end of this month and as of November 1 one will have to get in touch with the bank to make prior arrangements – meaning they may refuse. The bank is currently not opening new accounts.
  • ZB – no information available, please advise


  1. King

    Barclays bank visa card is $100/day Pos and $50/day withdrawal internationally. with a service charge of $5/transaction.

    1. William Chui

      Oh, yeah, thanks, should have also included charges.

      Updating with this new info

  2. Intrigued

    Bancabc have a prefunded card up to 2000 or day if I remember correctly… Just got the record of you traveling via UK…. And you carrying Wade’s of cash you going to be questioned as to origin of it…. Better to use a prefunded card

    1. wades cash !!!

      whats a “Wade’s of cash” is that a lot of cash or like a wad of cash?

  3. Garikai Dzoma

    According to my experience and from talking with staff the StanChart card has a limit of $100/per month not day but this limit can be changed if you show cause e.g. pay ACCA fees but this transaction will be once off.

  4. Andrew

    Cbz……..prefund your visa card

    Ecobank…prefund your debit card

    Fbc…Prefund your prepaid mastercard

    By end of this year you won’t need to continue working on this document anymore William as I am sure all these banks would have stopped non prefunded cards completely, it’s only delaying the inevitable and cutting off most of us into oblivion for any form of online payments unless you have hard currency to give them

    1. William Chui

      LOL thanks Andrew. Yeah, looks like it won’t be as hard as I’d feared.

    2. Anonymous

      am sure ecocash wil gain more on local online payments

    3. Kuda

      Thought Ecobank in Zim only issues Visa branded cards. Iro Mastercard nderipi?

      1. William Chui

        They’ve been using MasterCard since the beginning of the year, to the best of my knowledge

  5. Taps

    Ecobank Visa CashXpress Card for Online ,ATM and POS use for Zimbabweans http://totemnetwork.blogspot.com/2017/08/ecobank-visa-cashxpress-card-for-online.html

    1. William Chui

      Thanks. That helped a bit

  6. givaz

    you honestly didnt do your research.But rushed to publish it anyway.You guys are reducing to hmetro standards.
    You should have just called the banks and asked instead of say pple should provide you with info..

    1. Andrew

      “As we don’t bank with all the banks, efforts to find out from banks have not been easy as they wouldn’t want to divulge this information (I still don’t know what one will do with it?).”

      Check paragraph 2 Sir and I honestly think it’s actually good to get info from people on the ground who are actually using these services, there’s no feedback that better than that in my humble opinion.

      1. ndozvo

        Agree 100%. Client feedback is best. If u were to rely on infor from banks u would be lost. Steward bank is one bank which portray a high tech super efficient bank but serviceis atrocious. Ask a question on whatsapp and the reply comes after 2 days. TechZim needs to really highlight these technical shortcomings

      2. Anonymous

        These are the kind of people who quarrel after seeing a headline banner without reading the whole story Or start an argument on a soccer match they only watched highlights! Had you read the article, surely you would have known that they called but couldn’t get the information, now they are getting information from users who are willing , not sulkers. Its not like you pay Techzim for this information to demand them to do researches! SIT DOWN!

    2. William Chui

      Yes, I made it clear that I know what the situation is with banks that I bank with and that other banks are refusing to disclose as I’m not a customer of theirs. If it was too much to ask people to advise what the situation is with their respective banks, I apologise.

      Further, we’ve been asked the status of payments and no article has been forthcoming. So I was caught between waiting another 6 months to get all the details or hitting the publish button (giving a poor experience for the first few readers as it’ll be very basic, I admit), I opted for the latter so that we can get it out there and build as we go.

      I’m intrigued that H-metro has adopted a similar approach, sadly I don’t read their content so I’ll take your word for it.

  7. Albert

    Very helpful!

  8. ah um

    is techzim into finance or tech? does techzim have experts with degrees in finance? or do you techzim guys just read a lot and cut/paste crap with no understanding on underlying fundamentals?

    1. William Chui

      A bit more of cutting and pasting crap I’d say.

      Glad you liked the post!

  9. Tech guy

    Standard charted says 100 per day but after one transaction of $100 the card decline the rest of the days only resets on sunda so i have noticed

    1. William Chui

      Noted, will update article with that

    2. john bond

      stanchart visa card is pretty erratic, i mostly use it on ebay and amazon. It will decline any transaction above $100, and when it bounces the first transaction if above $100 it wont work on subsequent attempts even if below $100. I have been able to use it more than once a week upto the daily limit but it usually needs a few days to ‘rest’ before it will work again after a successful transaction.

      1. Samkange

        I had same experience too.2 days ago i tried to buy something online worth $150 using the Stanchart Visa card.The transaction was denied .i kept on trying to buy something below $100 just as u did until I lost patience .2 days later today I just thought of giving it a try again.i managed to pay for a service online of about $96 and was processed instantly,was so happy.a few minutes after the successful transaction I tried to buy something again.thats when I ran out of good luck.no matter how much I tried reducing the amount,I couldn’t use the card.so might try after 24-48hrs again

  10. Sandy

    What about ACCA AND Cips payments.can you also tell us how to make payments and which banks can do that. Stranded student

    1. Andrew

      Your first and easiest option Sandy if you have usd cash is to just walk into almost any bank or go to Fbc bank and get yourself a prepaid master card and deposit your USD. Once you do that you will be able to make your payment online for your tuition.

      Second option that I once used myself a while back is if you already have an existing Fbc account you can check with the branch that holds your account l mean where you opened your account originally because they had this facility where for educational invoices they could do the payment for you using funds sitting in your bank account already not (sure current situation now). The downside of this is it involves a bit of negotiation with your local branch and if you do win it will take about 2 weeks or so for the payment to go through. Could be worth a shot you never know !

    2. James

      You can try this Visa prepaid card more simple than FBC which needs, proof of residence etc. http://totemnetwork.blogspot.com/2017/08/ecobank-visa-cashxpress-card-for-online.html

  11. Mafirakureva

    Guys at TechZim, Please, please do not be disappointed by some negative feedback from some readers here. You are doing a great job. You are among the best if not the best in Zimbabwe.
    To all those who are negating TechZim writers I give one challenge – please kindly provide us the links to your well reaseached, organised articles on what ever platforms you are sharing them to the public.
    If there is one reason why Africa was still in iron age when other races where in space age – it was lack of individuals who where willing to research and write down there findings for the next generation to improve on. TechZim is covering that gap, compiling data from various sources making it into useful information some of us appreciate. Try to check data online eg free google maps, out of Harare you don’t get much just free satellite imagery without labels.Who should add the labels, not google! but you and me! We Africans we don’t do that! To lazy to write! Wikipedia we do not contribute. But just complain. Eish!

    1. john bond

      Thanks for this, I agree with the above comment. Some useful info in this article.

  12. Dypole

    Help, can anyone tell me if Payoneer platform works in Zim? i am frustrated coz i cant receive money from outside via PayPay

    1. Clive

      Payoneer still works.How do you want to receive money. I use it to receive money every month. You can PM me on 0778092901 or clivegurajena@gmail.com

  13. slg

    Is Stan Chart still allowing online payments, if so what is the limit

  14. Tatenda

    I think these banks need to revise there policies.

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