USD transfers with ZIPIT are back, too bad we don’t have Nostro accounts

Leonard Sengere Avatar

We have come full circle, my friends. Do you remember when we had USD in our bank accounts and were on course to be a cash-free society and then those USD were converted to some quasi-currency leading to the nation dollarising and cashifying, leaving those bank accounts/wallets to exclusively hold the quasi-currency?

Of course, you remember. Well, we are slowly undoing the effects of that move. Okay, we’re not undoing everything but service providers are slowly offering USD services again.

This should not be a thing, I mean, we had a robust system that allowed us to transact using USD electronically but we lost it. Hence the headline today:

You can now make instant USD transfers with ZIPIT

We used to do this a few years ago. So, I think we all understand how this works. If you have USD in your Nostro account or mobile wallet you can send it to other bank accounts or wallets instantly. As opposed to internal and RTGS transfers that you normally would need to effect if money is in your bank account. Those can take hours, or days if you are unlucky.

So, USD ZIPIT is back. Here’s what you can do now:

  • ZIPIT from any Bank to mobile wallets
  • ZIPIT from mobile wallets to bank
  • ZIPIT across banks
  • ZIPIT across mobile wallets

It’s not quite the same

As the saying goes – five times bitten, twice shy. Zimbabweans are not warming up to the idea of banking their USD this time around. As we all know, the National Mattress Bank is pulling in numbers and all the banks, mobile money service providers and remittance players have that to contend with.

As some within EcoCash put it, their competition is not against all the domestic remittance players popping up every other week, it is against cash. So, while ZIPIT is a good feature, even with its major flaw of poor transaction detail capturing, it is not as exciting this time around.

The number of people with Nostro accounts who would benefit from instant USD transfers is small. The majority hold cash and use remittance services when that money needs to cross cities. There is no room for ZIPIT to get a piece of that pie.

I don’t see how corporates would use ZIPIT, unfortunately. ZIPIT is a regular people solution if I’ve ever seen one. So, there isn’t much of a pie there.

There is a pie that ZIPIT could bite into though – civil servants. They all have Nostro accounts and receive some of their salaries into those accounts. They could need to make ZIPIT transfers.

I don’t know how many would actually do that. We know that most civil servants queue up to withdraw cash whenever the salary cheque hits. Few would want to make ZIPIT transfers. Where most of us shop, the vendors do not accept ZIPIT.

Still good to see it back

None of the above is Zimswitch’s fault, I have to make that clear. That’s just how Zimbabwe is. Zimswitch thought they had solved the instant USD transfer puzzle a long time ago but life can’t be that easy in Zimbabwe.

I would bet $2.43 that the reason it took this long for us to even get the USD ZIPIT feature back is that the guys over at Zimswitch felt like, ‘what’s the point?’ Then they collectively sighed and said, ‘heck with it, let’s just get it out there, who knows…’

I’m pretty sure that’s how it happened. Anyway, the feature is back and so plan your lives accordingly.

Also read:

You can now top up your ZINARA toll gate card via ZIPIT

Dear ZIMSWITCH, make a ZIPIT gateway as an alternative to Vpayments


  1. Bounty hunter

    I will always bank with national mattress bank… Wot allow anyone near it . Rbz unozongonzwa kuti has been converted to rtgs rate 1:1 wot trust these guys

    1. Leonard Sengere

      They can convince the next generation, not those of us that went through the 1:1 conversion.

  2. Miniver

    ED is going about talking about ditching USD. What a good time to start depositing the precious dollar into the banks again🤣

    1. Leonard Sengere

      It’s crazy when you cinsider that fact. Had not even considered it.

    2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      People say let’s ditch the dollar whilst having millions of USD stashed in their houses and offshore 🤔😂 #Phalaphala.

  3. The Empress

    All that time wasted just so we could return back to the same position we started from. I might even argue that we’re worse off.

    1. Leonard Sengere

      It’s sad. Years later, hours upon hours of developer time spent, clever rebranding and marketing by the RBZ and banks and Zimswitch and we are worse off than we were back then.

  4. GG

    I would not leave my USDs in the bank over night, not even a cent of it because Im not certain that I will find in the morning .

    1. Leonard Sengere

      It’s not even just USD if you think about it. The only ZW$ you leave in there is that which you can’t withdraw/spend because of limits or convert to USD. That’s the new reality, you would not willingly bank money, whatever currency.

  5. Glaurung The Dragon

    Banking your USDs in Zimbabwe banks is tantamount to insanity considering what happened in the past and not to mention absolutely ridiculous bank charges. There is ZERO incentive to bank your USDs right now, unless you get your jollies through misery of bank queues and poor customer service

  6. R

    Isa mari yako zvipfukuto (bank charges)

  7. Cde che

    I dont trust anything associated with gvt. Leaving your money in the bank is a great mistake.

  8. Kay

    Theft is theft they stole all pensioner ‘s funds and all Zimbabwean savings when they introduced the zwl dollar now they are back again to take the little funds that is in the mattress.

    1. dred

      Actually on this one I’m hopeful. I am hopeful that to do transactions with Nostro accounts no longer involves a visit to the bank and you can operate where ever you are with Internet banking. I may not keep money in the bank but it would be great from a convenience perspective.

  9. Jayz

    Whats the maximum limit per transaction per day

2023 © Techzim All rights reserved. Hosted By Cloud Unboxed