Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


ContiCash now allows you to buy up to US$50 at the official rate

USD, Deposit Protection Corporation, DPC, Nostro accounts

A few weeks ago we scoffed at the announcement by the Monetary Policy Committee which said that individuals would now soon be allowed to buy up to US$50 from Bureau de Changes at the official rate. That scepticism was based on history. We have heard such announcements before and nothing has come out of it. Except for this time around a little something has come from it.

Do you remember ContiCash the guys that allow you to pay for your DStv account at the official rate? They recently reached out to inform us that they are now offering the US$50 package which the RBZ promised in that announcement. This offer is open to the public all you need to do is register with ContiCash, apply through their WhatsApp platform, pay using RTGS and you can go and collect the cash at one of their branches.

How the process works

This is how the process works:

  • Save the ContiCash WhatsApp chatbot number which is 0788788045 in your phone
  • Send a WhatsApp message that says hi to the bot
  • It will ask you to sign up if you hadn’t already done so
  • Follow the prompts and you will eventually be asked to take a photo of your ID/Passport or licence
  • Once you complete the sign up process it will be reviewed by ContiCash and if they are satisfied your ContiCash account will be approved and working
  • You will receive a message welcoming you to ContiCash
  • Once this happens you can send a message that says Hi again
  • You will then be presented with several options one of which is the US$50 package
  • Select this package
  • Next, you will be asked to select your preferred ContiCash branch town/city
  • You will then be shown the RTGS/ZWL amount you will need to pay. This will be at the official prevailing rate
  • If you are satisfied you can then confirm
  • You will then have to make the ZWL payment. This is handled by ContiPay, ContiCash’s platform that accepts ZIPIT and Ecocash
  • Once you make payment you will receive the PIN and Code you will need to collect the moeny from any of ContiCash’s branches

N.B. The only other step left is you going to ContiCash to branches to collect your cash.

You can find their branches at the following locations:

  • Current Harare branches:
    • Newlands
    • Avondale
    • Chitungwiza Makoni
    • Long Cheng
    • B/ Court
  • Current out of Hre branches
    • Mutare
    • Gweru
    • Masvingo
    • Bulawayo has three branches
    • Kadoma
    • Victoria Falls

The service is already popular and those who have known about it seem to have become regular users. I mean who doesn’t want USD, even $50 at basically half the black market rate? It might not seem like much but for most households, those are massive savings that can stretch the little ZWL they have. Seems word of this service has even reached “Gokwe” too. According to ContiCash, they have seen people from far and wide areas including Shurugwi, Maphisa and Chiweshe utilising the service.

Time for me to eat my hate?

Again I was not impressed by the initial announcement and this $50 is sort of a pleasant surprise. So is it time for me to eat my humble pie and admit I was wrong? No, never. Do not get me wrong, this is a delightful surprise. One of the reasons why the official market has failed to arrest the runaway black market rate is that it neglects the needs of the common man and focuses on businesses only.

This means that the rest of us peasants have no choice but to buy our foreign currency from the black market when the need arises. Imagine you need to pay for a medical procedure to save your or your loved one’s life. Would you let something as trivial as some statutory instrument stand in your way? You go to the black market to buy what you need with a clean conscience the government and the law be damned.

The supply issue

This facility might be able to plug a bit of that gap. Those with casual and small foreign currency needs could be catered for. This would in theory arrest the black market rate as some of the people’s foreign currency needs would now be catered for officially. However, that all depends on one important condition, supply. How much foreign currency will be allocated this way? Zimbabweans have a huge appetite for foreign currency for various reasons not least of which is inflation-busting.

Most people choose the USD as a way to protect their savings. No one in their right mind wants to keep ZWL notes under their pillow. National Mattress Banks all over this country are full of USD bills and to a lesser extent other foreign currency bills. A good portion of those US$50 will be put into those banks too and not go back into circulation.

To prove I am right, even ContiCash themselves admit that their RBZ allocations do run out quickly. They last for a few hours at least and I am betting it’s because that’s because it’s still not yet national news that ContiCash is doing this. After this article is published and news spreads far and wide I expect that allocation will last only for a few seconds.

I will eat my hat if the RBZ does manage to sustain this and caters to common people to the extent that we see a material dip in the black market rate. I must add my hat is small and edible so I will probably have no hard time eating it. The RBZ and ContiCash meanwhile have their task cut out for them. I wish them the best but the odds here are in my favour.

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11 thoughts on “ContiCash now allows you to buy up to US$50 at the official rate

  1. I’m just thinking of how unsustainable this is gonna be or how long one will have to wait to get their piece of the ’50USD at official rate’ pie 😁

  2. One sure thing I’ve come to realise about my dear country is there is not much that the powers that be will do to make life seem easier for the populace, unless they are getting something good in return at the eventual expense of the said populace (Case in point: 15 Billon Dollars everyone, also Operation Restore Regacy😁).

    You said it right, it wont be long till the reserves last seconds. There’s probably someone on the side of the big wigs that control this land that’s going to benefit from this. Perhaps this will be a money laundering activity, or something like that, or it’ll be a case or wanting someone dear to them who can’t walk into RBZ to demand USD to gain easy access to the greenback.

    I’m sure it’ll be soon where there’ll be news of those RBZ reserves being reserved only for certian people.

  3. Check the Facebook posts with that image and review the comments.

    I guess the problem I have with TechZim at times is that they’ll correctly criticise a wrong situation or if it’s not criticism it’s just some good ideas being suggested instead, but when they get on the payroll of the entity they’re criticising they make an all about turn, ‘eat they’re humble pie’ (or hat/hate) in this case, and start singing praises. They do this with MNOs frequently.

    Perhaps do like most YouTubers do, particularly the tech guys. They’ll call out BS whenever, but when they get paid to publish something, they say so in the introduction of the video and do what they were asked not just to sing praises and forget the sustainability if things. From the first sentence I could feel something was wrong with the article, it was being too positive.
    But I do commend the few times you were trying to bring us back to reality, kudo’s to you for that!!!

      1. Again just read the article and not just the titles and you will see I haven’t suddenly become a believer. Nor was I paid to post this. All sponsored posts are always labelled as such. They do have a facility that offers this service but it will a be a drop in the ocean so in the grand scheme of things it won’t affect the exchange rate.

    1. Did you read the last paragraphs or you just read the title and decided to comment? Read again and you will see this is no blind praise.

      1. To prove I am right, even ContiCash themselves admit that their RBZ allocations do run out quickly. They last for a few hours at least and I am betting it’s because that’s because it’s still not yet national news that ContiCash is doing this. After this article is published and news spreads far and wide I expect that allocation will last only for a few seconds.

  4. ContiCash services by any standards are poor very very people take for example the chitungwiza makoni branch can go for days without even a single dime. If it was Mukuru that had announced such services people would be ululating because they off a good service at Makoni shopping centre they have 3 branches that rarely run out of cash. Your praise of Conticash is founded on what premise clearly everyone knows that Conticash services are very poor maybe that is what is leading many to believe its a sponsored article😁

  5. its not only conti-cash doing that, most western unions cabs and credit connect micro finance. the only problem now is people have to wake up as early as 3/4 am to get a number as they will say we are saving only 40 or 60 people. this they will tell you around 9 when you have been there since 5. then you might go early and when they open you told we do not have float today. you cn go at 4am and leave there around 3pm…for $20 ( yur premium when compared to buying on the black market). this will not last long even though with the 50/person per week. they need to give all banks too n all bereau *** cause the queues jus dnt make sense.

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