Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Nedbank customers, swipe limit is now at ZWL$1.5 million

Nedbank Zimbabwe has, in an SMS to customers, said that it has upped the point of sale (POS) swipe limit to ZWL$1.5 million for individuals and ZWL$2.5 for corporates. Dear Client, We advise that our daily swipe limits have been reviewed to ZWL1.5 million for individuals & ZWL2.5 million for Private Banking, Corporates/SMEs. Nedbank Zimbabwe […]

Find out more about Nyaradzo’s Sahwira Connect Card and the Zimbabwean payments mess it is solving for

We talked about Nyaradzo’s Sahwira Connect Card earlier this month. It is a welcome innovation which should not have been needed but is. When we talked about the card we had a few questions and fortunately we managed to get answers from Nyaradzo. Nyaradzo confirmed to us the problem being solved by the Sahwira Connect […]

ZB Bank has rebranded & says it wants to put a smile on its customers’ faces

ZB Bank Zimbabwe yesterday held an event where it unveiled its new company branding and direction to shareholders, customers and the press. Before I go any further, I would like to commend ZB for the most “to the point” presentation I have ever witnessed. The CEO Shepherd Fungura was the only one from the bank […]

EcoCash physical Mastercard is back (again) & it still can’t do online payments

A couple of months ago EcoCash announced that it was entering the domestic remittance game as well as pushing the company’s FCA wallet. This was quite a surprise because the prevailing assumption was that EcoCash was in some sort of conflict with the regulators. However, as it turned out, this was not the case as […]

NMB on a security mission, finally deactivates magnetic stripe cards

There was obviously a serious meeting on security over at NMB Bank. We are now seeing the resolutions that were made at that meeting come to life. Just yesterday we were discussing how NMB now won’t let you log into their mobile banking app unless you pony up your location data. NMB confirmed that they […]

NMB Connect says give up your location or no banking for you. What’s that all about?

One thing we love about the internet is how it’s more or less the same internet regardless of where you access it. Some of you are reading this from the UK, some are in SA, and at least 0.6% this week have been located in Pakistan. Save for some geo-locked content, the internet experience is […]

Zim forcing companies to innovate in payments – Nyaradzo introduces Sahwira Connect Card

The proverb goes, ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’ This no doubt applies to medical care more than anything else. Hence why the wise ancestors used stitches as an example. However, they could have said ‘a dollar in time is like a million’ and it still would have had the same impact. Am I really […]

First Capital & EIB EUR12.5 mil loan facility: Collateral, interest rates & startups

First Capital Bank today announced that it was a beneficiary bank of the European Investment Bank‘s (EIB) medium – long term lines of credit (4 to 7 years) aimed at giving Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) a valuable USD lifeline. Before we get into that it was interesting to see that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe […]

First Capital & European Investment Bank bring EUR 12,5 mil credit line for SMEs

First Capital Bank Limited in partnership with the European Investment Bank and the European Union have today secured a developmental line of credit to the tune of EUR 12,5 Million (USD13.7 million). The funding is set to develop eligible investment projects undertaken by Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and MidCap companies under First Capital Bank […]

StanChart increases online & bank app transfer limit to ZWL$25 million

Standard Chartered Zimbabwe (StanChart) has announced in a circular to customers that it has reviewed its transfer limit via its online and mobile application banking platforms to ZWL$25 million. The message from StanChart about the transfer limit reads as follows: Dear Valued Client, We are pleased to advise that we have increased our funds transfer limits […]

Govt says willing-buyer-willing-seller for forex but it’s more like fortunate-buyer-unwilling-seller

The Zim govt announced that retailers are no longer allowed to offer discounts for those paying in USD. Instead, they shall accept both the USD and the ZW$ and use the interbank rate to price using the 2 currencies. In fact, use of the willing buyer willing seller rate is now mandatory by law. Unfortunately, […]

BancABC distances itself from paper analysing the govt’s economic measures. Paper makes good points regardless

The Zimbabwean government did a number on banks, suspending loans that are responsible for a third of their revenues. We know that banks are trying to engage the authorities to see if they can’t find a better solution to the abuse of loan funds by the public. Banks are going about it in a civil […]

Suspension of loans: Bank charges are going up, here’s why

We have been going down the rabbit hole of the new “economic measures” and the most confusing one of them all was the suspension of lending or loans. I say this because Zimbabwe has not been a lending market because of the currency gymnastics that have been a feature of the last decade. One moment […]

With lending suspended, banks will be okay but microfinance institutions likely to struggle

Still wild to think the government woke up one day and outlawed the activity that pulls in a third of banks’ revenue. The government suspended all lending in the country and financial institutions are scrambling to engage them with a view to changing their minds. Let’s look at how banks and other financial institutions will […]

RBZ on suspension of bank lending. Partly drawn loans are suspended too. What is the rationale behind these decisions?

It started with a short paragraph by the President. If we hadn’t been living in Zimbabwe for the past 2 decades we would have been more shocked – all lending by banks was suspended on the 7th of May 2022. In his speech, President Mnangagwa said, In order to minimise the creation of broad money […]

FBC Bank announces new Mastercard US$60 limit security feature

FBC Bank has, in a statement, said that it is taking a proactive approach to guarding customers against fraud with a new US$60 limit security feature for its USD Mastercard platform for online transactions. FBC’s statement on the Mastercard security feature and limit reads as follows: FBC Bank continues to transform with global e-commerce products […]

We ran into BancABC at ZITF 2022

We ran into BancABC at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair ZITF 2022. Shingai Vutoyi one of the Branch Managers for BancABC was kind enough to talk us through what the bank was up to at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF 2022). You can watch the tour of BancABC’s booth at ZITF 2022 with the […]

Zimswitch at ZITF 2022: NOSTRO EFTs, debit orders, wallet on POS & more

The National Payments Switch, Zimswitch was an exhibitor at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF 2022). It appears that their main mission for this year’s edition of the ZITF was to interface with customers (both corporate and individual) about who they actually are and what they do. For all those who might not be aware […]

RBZ bans Simbisa’s InnBucks with immediate effect!

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has announced that it has ordered Simbisa to halt operations of its loyalty and rewards program, InnBucks with immediate effect. The RBZ’s statement on InnBucks is as follows: PRESS STATEMENT CESSATION OF INNBUCKS OPERATING AS A MONEY TRANSFER SERVICE PROVIDER The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) advises the […]

Standard Chartered says “sales process will commence in due course” as bank exits Zim

Last week, Standard Chartered Bank announced that it will be withdrawing from Zim along with Angola Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone. The decision to do this is because these territories accounted for 1% of the bank’s income in 2021. We reached out to Standard Chartered Bank to get more information about what will […]

Standard Chartered is leaving Zimbabwe but its not happening overnight

Standard Chartered has announced that it will be pulling out of Zimbabwe as well as Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone. Additionally, the bank will be scaling down operations in Tanzania and Ivory Coast, focusing only on corporate banking. The reason for the complete departure (and scaling back) from these markets, according to […]

30% interest per month on a loan? The Zimbabwean credit situation improving but still the wild west

There is no such thing as a purely capitalist economy and like many, Zimbabwe is a mixed economy. However, we have flirted with socialism more than most with our ‘command’ efforts in recent times as an example.  We still have a somewhat limited free market though. Although the government loves to exert control in the […]

Cassava’s Sasai Remit partners with UK women’s org on money transfers to Zim & SA

Sasai Remit, a subsidiary of Cassava Technologies, has announced a partnership with Qoki Zindlovukazi, a United Kingdom-based women’s networking and empowerment organisation. The two say the partnership will enable both organisations to empower thousands of Zimbabweans to use a safe and secure fintech platform to seamlessly transfer funds to family and friends in South Africa […]

As commercial banks close branches, state-owned banks to open more branches at Growth Points

It used to be that if you wanted to interact with your bank you had to visit a bank branch. Right from the beginning, you needed to fill out about a million documents in person to open an account. You would leave that branch not sure if you were going to be admitted into the […]

It’s not you, BancABC is experiencing yet another ‘systems challenge’

No, you’re not reading the notice from 10 days ago and this isn’t déjà vu. Indeed, BancABC has announced that it is facing another systems challenge. The notice posted on their twitter account reads as follows: IMPORTANT NOTICE: SYSTEMS CHALLENGE To our Valued Customers, Please note that we have been experiencing intermittent service across our […]

BancABC is experiencing a “system challenge” with its banking platforms

BancABC has announced that it is facing some system challenges with its banking platforms. The notice posted on BancABC’s Twitter account reads as follows: IMPORTANT NOTICE: SYSTEMS CHALLENGE NOTIFICATION To our Valued Customers, Please be advised that we are experiencing intermittent service on all of our banking platforms. Efforts are underway to rectify the issue. […]

Cashless societies prone to abuse by govts, Canada shows. Is Zim better off for preferring cash?

In Zim, the RBZ’s FIU can freeze your account without court order. A fact that won’t scare many who shun the official banking sector. For various reasons, Zimbabwe has been becoming an increasingly cashless society with every passing year. In the Reserve Bank’s latest monetary policy statement we found out that of the total Zimdollar […]

RBZ freezes firms’ accounts for suspected money laundering, what does that mean in the Zimbabwean context

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is engaged in a never ending game of Whack-A-Mole. There are too many moles and too many holes for the RBZ to whack every single mole. Besides, for every incapacitated mole, another rises to take its place. Yet seemingly undeterred, the RBZ through the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has […]

First Capital Bank partners with Hellopaisa and is going paperless

First Capital Bank Limited has today announced two major developments that it says will positively reshape its service delivery for key segments. These are the launch of its collaborative partnership with Hellopaisa Money Transfer Agency and a move to go paperless under its personal account segment.  Remittances Money transfer inflows from the diaspora have been […]

Microfinance institutions all failed to meet US$5 million capital requirement while all but one bank now meet US$30m target

In my time, I have seen loan sharks break the legs of debtors that miss payments. I have seen treasurers disappear with ‘cooperative funds.’ Even church leaders have been known to dip into church coffers. All this was not shocking, but when registered commercial banks were run like neighbourhood loan shark operations, leading to bank […]