Moneychangers have started selling US$1 notes at a 10% premium to retailers looking for change to give customers.
Lately, US$1 notes have mysteriously become scarce and, as a result, it has caused serious problems of change. As a result, moneychangers have started selling US$1 notes at a premium of ZWL$110 whilst the rest of US dollar notes are being sold for ZWL$100.
A US$1 note is now attracting a 10% premium on the streets as most shops are now struggling for change. Street dealers are selling a minimum US$100 single dollar notes at US$110.
Renowned journalist Happiness Zengeni tweet
Shortages of US$1 notes are reminiscent of 2014 when they were scarce and people were given sweets or other small goods as change.
And government moved in to solve that problem by introducing a surrogate currency called bond coins which later become a national currency.
The economics of the bond coins is that they are being introduced to
buttress the multiple currency system through the provision of change
especially for the US$ notes which have a smallest denomination in
circulation in Zimbabwe of US$1.
RBZ in 2014 announcing the introduction of bond coins
Tables have turned
It’s pretty ironic that moneychangers are now charging a premium for US$1 notes but just over a year ago they were shunning them and, instead, charging a 5-10% premium for US$100 notes. In fact, that time most moneychangers refused to ‘rate’ US$1 notes to buy them from the public.
You would understand moneychangers to start making business out of charging premiums for US$1 notes because the suspension of mobile money Merchant and Agent transactions severely impacted their trade, with many going out of business.
Meanwhile, the official market and black market exchange rates have relatively stabilized as a result of the suspension of the mobile money transactions.