The People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) has partnered with Mastercard to unveil new debit and prepaid cards. Okay, ‘what’s interesting about that?’ – you ask. Read on.
The more interesting of the two is the debit card. The Mastercard debit card allows customers to make dual currency transactions on the same card. That means they will be able to transact using USD both internationally or locally, and local ZW$ using the same card (one card with two transacting currencies).
This is pretty unique in the market. With the other banks, you have to have an FCA account that has its own card and a ZW$ one with its own card.
The RBZ and ZIMSTAT say about three-quarters of all transactions in the country are now in USD. That leaves a good 25% still in ZW$. I know I still make those. So, having a card that allows for both kinds of transactions would be convenient.
That said, when it comes to USD transactions, I prefer using cash. Turns out most Zimbabweans prefer that too. So, if I’m being honest I wouldn’t exactly be lining up to deposit my sweet USD into the card. Meaning it will mostly be a ZW$ card for me. So is the dual-currency feature a gimmick?
Nope. The card still has utility – the USD part means online payments. POSB says they are looking to serve customers who wish to transact in USD currency, whether locally or internationally. So, we are talking Netflix, Spotify, DSTV, tuition and purchasing of goods and services. You know the kind of stuff we have been using prepaid USD cards for.
I will also remind you right now that many companies now reject prepaid USD cards, especially when we’re talking about recurring payments. That includes Google of all companies rejecting prepaid cards. Refresh your memory here: Google now rejecting prepaid cards for some of its services. So the debit card is pretty important.
A POSB customer won’t need to open a separate prepaid Mastercard account. Their default card from the bank will allow for all that prepaid USD cards allow for in addition to local currency transactions.
This card is available to POSB account holders and will be the default card going forward.
For those that do not have a POSB account, the prepaid card exists. It is like the other prepaid Mastercard/Visa cards on the market.
You don’t have to be a POSB account holder to get this card. Like many prepaid cards on the market, it will be much easier to get this card than it would be to open an account with the bank. POSB say it’s “an easy-to-sign-up prepaid Mastercard for non-account holders.”
There’s not much we can say about the card that you’re not already familiar with. The big question is ‘how much will it cost to use this card?’ We asked POSB for the charges and fees we can expect to deal with and will update you the moment we get the answers.
There you have it. That’s what’s up.