Lately, people have been finding it increasingly hard to make payments with soiled or worn out US dollars notes Not only that, but US$100 bills with an old design are also being rejected.
In a country where US dollars are very few, a further contraction of the available stock of US dollars certainly affects commerce to a certain extent.
In light of this, the US Embassy issued a statement saying that soiled, defaced or, old worn out US dollar bills can be used to settle payments. In a an article the embassy tweeted, it said:
Any badly soiled, dirty, defaced, disintegrated, limp, torn, or worn out currency note that is clearly more than one-half of the original note, and does not require special examination to determine its value, is not considered mutilated.
A mutilated US dollar note is one whose other half is not recognisable as a US dollar note. So as long as half of a US dollar note is recognisable, it still retains it’s value and it should be accepted at the bank in exchange of a crisp US dollar note. It remains to be seen if the statement by the US Embassy will appease the public and start to accept those kinds of US dollar note.
It’s not a crime,though, for a an individual to reject a worn out or old US dollar notes according to Monetary Policy Committee member, Eddie Cross.
Mr Eddie Cross said that if you get stuck with such US dollar notes, you can exchange them at local banks, who are mandated to replace worn out or defaced notes. Mr Cross said:
Commercial banks are responsible for replacing damaged or soiled notes. If a note is soiled beyond use, the merchant has a right to refuse the note, the individual should take it to the bank and the bank should credit his account or give him a new note with the bank. The RBZ recognises the problem but it also recognises it takes a lot of money to print or get new money.
We hope that banks like FBC who charge a fee 10% of the value of a deposited soiled or worn out notes will stop that immediately since such notes are still legal tender and it’s their responsibility to replace them