By Taurai Mangudhla
HARARE – Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has imposed daily cash withdrawal limits of $10 000 on individual transactions.
The announcement by the central bank comes on the back of a liquidity crunch and as part of measures revealed by Finance minister Tendai Biti to stagger high value transactions in order to allow banks sufficient time to prepare.
“The money market is currently inundated with challenges resulting from the worsening liquidity, delayed cash payments and illegal externalisation of cash,” he told a monetary policy meeting in Harare on Tuesday.
“In order to facilitate country-wide smooth payment transactions as well as curbing illegal externalisation of cash, all financial institutions are being called upon to moderate instant cash withdrawals to a maximum of $10 000,” Gono added.
Cash withdrawals for high value transactions that are above the stipulated $10 000 will require prior notice with the respective bank. Individual customers wishing to withdraw between $10 001 and $20 000 are required to give 24 hours’ notice, one working day, to their bank while those wishing to withdraw between $20 001 and $30 000 are required to give 48 hours’ notice, two working days.
Transactions between $30 001 and $40 000 as well as those between $40 001 and $50 000 are obliged to give 72 hours, three working days, and 96 hours’, four working days, notice respectively. Withdrawals exceeding $50 000 are only made after 120 hours, five working days, prior notification to the bank.
“By this we are encouraging electronic transactions taking into account that we do not print the United States dollar and that we do not have a formal agreement with America’s federal bank,” said the central bank chief.
“To compliment these measures, the banking public is strongly encouraged to use Real Time Gross System (RTGS). Credit cards and other approved electronic money transfer systems in settling their day-to-day financial transactions.”
Meanwhile, uptake on mobile banking facilities is growing in the country as new players are coming on board to the new generation technology. According to RBZ statistics, 15 banking institution had introduced mobile banking on their platforms at the end of December, 2011.
RBZ however, encouraged all banking institutions to put in place appropriate risk management structures and processes to facilitate on-going monitoring of all risk associated with mobile banking products and other electronic delivery channels. Daily News