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.
- Agribank – no information available, please advise
- BancABC – no information available, please advise
- Barclays Bank
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
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.
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
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.
Known as the Globetrotter, can be used by both Steward Bank account holders and non Steward Bank account holders.
- Standard Chartered Bank
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
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
Bond Notes are a currency of notes backed by a bond that the Zimbabwe government announced on 4 May 2016 by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya. The $2 denomination of the notes was finally introduced on 28 November 2016. More notes were... Read More About Bond Notes
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is the central bank of Zimbabwe. Its offices are located at number 80 Samora Machel Avenue in Harare. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe operates under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act, Chapter 22: 15 of 1964. The Act provides... Read More About RBZ
EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash