Zim bank sus­pends lo­cal use of Visa cards

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

CBZ HOLD­INGS, Zim­babwe’s largest bank, sus­pended the use of Visa cards for lo­cal trans­ac­tions as the coun­try strug­gles to cope with a cash short­age. Charges on mak­ing trans­ac­tions were very ex­pen­sive for cus­tomers, CBZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Never Nye­mudzo said on Fri­day. Money also had to be set­tled out­side the coun­try for ac­counts that were held over­seas in for­eign cur­rency, he said. The mea­sures would take ef­fect from January 15 although cus­tomers would be able to make trans­ac­tions abroad, with daily lim­its of $250 at ATMs, $1 000 for pointof-sale busi­ness and $500 for pay­ments over the in­ter­net, the lender said in a state­ment. Visa did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to e-mailed re­quests for com­ment. Most lo­cal banks have lim­ited daily cash with­drawals to $50 due to a short­age of for­eign cur­ren­cies that has led to de­lays in salary pay­ments to civil ser­vants, the mil­i­tary and some pri­vate com­pany em­ploy­ees. The in­tro­duc­tion of bond notes in a bid to ease the cash crunch was last year met with protests. Zim­babwe aban­doned its own cur­rency in 2009 be­cause of hy­per­in­fla­tion. – Bloomberg

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