RBZ slashes bank charges
By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has reduced charges on electronic transactions as part of its measures to promote non-banking hall services amid a biting cash crunch.
The central bank announced the development in a statement on Tuesday that the reductions were with immediate effect, after discussions with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and other financial services providers.
Government is striving to promote the use of plastic money to ease the current cash shortages that threaten to severely cripple industry and commerce.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is pleased to advise the banking public that it has agreed with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe and payment systems providers to reduce charges of electronic transactions in order to promote and encourage usage of electronic banking services,” said the central bank.
Steep bank charges were keeping depositors away.
For RTGS transactions, charges have fallen from $10 to a maximum of $5.
Automated teller machine transactions will however remain at $2.50 but electronic funds transfer will attract a minimum fee of 33 cents and a maximum of $2,10.
Point of Sale (POS) transactions of up to $10 are now attracting a charge of 10 cents, and transactions above $10 will be charged 45 cents from $2.50.
User charges on POS systems have been scrapped while merchant service commissions will incur charges ranging from nil to a maximum of 1 percent for local transactions and administration charges from zero to a maximum of $5 for individuals.
Since April, Zimbabwe has been experiencing an excruciating cash squeeze reminiscent of the hyper-inflationary period that reached a peak in 2008.
Banks are severely limiting cash withdrawals and depositors are being forced to sleep in queues, while business operations are now constrained due to the liquidity crunch.
The RBZ has invoked the law to monitor banking trends among major cash handlers as a way of ensuring that businesses deposit money into their accounts on a daily basis.
Poor export earnings, foreign currency externalisation and widespread circulation of money on the informal market have been cited as the major causes of cash shortages. Nehanda Radio