They told us their return was imminent last week and they weren’t bluffing, InnBucks is back. Of their return, they said,
…announcing the return of Zimbabwe’s favourite low-cost transaction platform. We’re now up and running again, and we look forward to serving you even better!InnBucks on Twitter
I can’t even argue with the ‘Zimbabwe’s favourite low-cost transaction platform’ part. InnBucks was well loved for its low cost. It cost just 2% to transfer funds last time around.
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However, like we mentioned last week, the landscape changed in their absence. There is now a hefty 4% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) to be levied on all transactions. So how do the new InnBucks tariffs look?
- Deposits – FREE
- Cash withdrawal – 2%
- Send money (BFF) [Up to $5] – 1%
- Send money (BFF) [Above $5] – 5% (which includes 4% IMTT)
- Account limit – $500
- Single transaction limit (BFF) – $250
- Monthly transaction limit (BFF) – $1000
BFF is short for Buy For Friend, you can find out more about that here.
The account limit of $500 is the wallet limit. Under no circumstances can one hold more than that in their InnBucks account.
If an incoming transfer would have the balance exceed that amount, you won’t be able to receive it. If you have $300 in your account, you won’t be able to receive $201. It can’t.
The transaction limit is simple enough to understand. You can only deposit, withdraw, or send a maximum of $250 at a time. Remember though, at no time can your account balance exceed $500.
What sending $150 looks like
If you want to send $150 to a friend and want them to withdraw $150 you have to deposit $162. It will cost about $12 to get $150 in your friend’s hand. That’s approximately 7%. The government takes 4% and InnBucks gets its 3% (1% to transfer and 2% to cash out.)
You will note that the tariff structure is designed to dissuade you from cashing out. It’s cheaper to send money in your account to someone else than it is to withdraw it.
Let me show you how InnBucks fares on my Kadoma test. Kadoma is close to 150km from Harare and going there by public transport costs $5 one way. Or $10 to and from.
This means sending someone with $150 in cash to Kadoma is cheaper than sending it via InnBucks. The journey will take just over 4 hours. Is blowing 4 hours worth the $2 savings? What if you can be productive on that journey? One will have to make a decision.
The government makes more from InnBucks transactions than InnBucks themselves. That’s why in certain circumstances, sending via InnBucks won’t be the best option even with the super low 1% charge on transfers.
InnBucks as a bank
That’s all well and good but can we count on InnBucks not to be shut down this time around? We don’t want to get excited and have it yanked from us again.
Well, you can’t bet against the Zimbabwean government finding a way but InnBucks has set themselves up well enough not to fall afoul of the regulators again.
LAUNCH OF INNBUCKS PRODUCT
We are pleased to advise all our customers and stakeholders that the Regulators have authorized the launch of the INNBUCKS product. Existing InnBucks account holders will have their accounts automatically reactivated.
INNBUCKS now operates as a product of Ndoro Microfinance Bank Limited, a registered Microfinance Bank. This arrangement will bring additional services and benefits to INNBUCKS customers.
Members of the public are therefore able to transact and enjoy the services and benefits of Zimbabwe’s favourite, low cost, platform through the network of over 260 Quick Service Restaurants of Simbisa Brands Limited.
Thank you for your patience and we look forward to your continued support and use of the enhanced INNBUCKS product offering which you can explore at www.innbucks.co.zw
Thank you to our Regulators for the constructive engagements which have resulted in the licensing of the INNBUCKS product.
By Order of the Boards
Ndoro Microfinance Bank / InnBucks / Simbisa Brands
What’s going on here?
When they say their product has been enhanced, they mean it. InnBucks is now a product of Ndoro Microfinance bank. This Ndoro is registered as a deposit taking microfinance institution and was licensed in 2021 and authorised to conduct deposit-taking microfinance business in March 2022.
Did Simbisa register Ndoro or acquire it? We don’t know but InnBucks is now a Ndoro product and that means Ndoro is most likely a Simbisa subsidiary.
Although we are saying InnBucks is now a Ndoro product, what really happened is that InnBucks got itself a microfinance licence. Complete with Deposit Protection membership.
This means there is room to expand the InnBucks service. Could we be looking at InnBucks loans in the future, for example? I sure hope so.
What do you think about all this? Do let us know in the comments below.