Some civil servants have been wondering why their respective banks haven’t availed debit cards for their Domestic Nostro accounts, weeks after Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced the US$75 allowance.
Well, the answer is here now. In a statement released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe this afternoon, the central bank said many banks were caught unawares with the sudden need of Nostro debit cards so they have accumulated a backlog on the issuance of these cards.
The RBZ engaged Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, an organization that represents all banks, who advised them that banks are expected to have issued Nostro debit cards to Civil servants by the 31st of August,next month.
Pursuant to its decision to pay a non-taxable COVID-19 allowance for in-service and retired civil servans, Government a vised all beneficiaries to open United States Dollar-denominated bank accounts with commercial banks to facilitate the payment of the allowances.
The Bank is pleased to note that the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is seized with he matter and has advised that given the high demand for foreign currency debit cards,
here has been a backlog on the issuance of cards and that banks expect to clear the backlog by 31 August 2020.
How can civil servants spend the US$75 allowance at the moment
Without the Nostro debit cards it means that civil servants cannot make purchases by ‘swiping’. So RBZ is advising civil servants to use their allowance by making online payments and transfers. Or they can just convert (liquidate) their allowance to Zimbabwe dollars and use their Zimbabwe dollar debit cards.
The Bank will lend BAZ any assistance that it may require to ensure that he card issuing process is expedited. Meanwhile beneficiaries who may wish to use heir COVID-19 allowance but have not yet received their foreign currency debit cards have an option to make online payments or make interbank transfers. Liquidating of Nostro balances at the ruling exchange rate should only be at the discretion of the banks’ customers on a willing-seller willing-buyer basis.
Speaking of liquidation of civil servants’ allowances, banks have been called out by the Secretary of Information,Nick Mangwana for holding their civil servants customers at ransom.