Thousands of locally based individuals receiving incoming US dollars via transnational wire transfers face hurdles as some local banks have now stopped the transactions.
Even though some banks are still allowing them, there are fears that the ban on incoming greenback international transfers could spread.
This would inconvenience several groups of individuals who depend on incoming US dollar transfers, among them expatriate workers, people depending on remittances for survival and solopreneurs whose personal businesses receive money from outside.
“If this turns out to be a sustained change in the banking sector in the coming weeks and months, this will be a great deal because most platforms that one can (use to) make money online mostly pay out in USD (greenbacks) because they are United States based.
“Local banks shutting down this avenue of getting paid will only reduce the options available and make things increasingly difficult for local individuals making a living online.
“It will also affect expatriate Zimbabweans who receive salaries in USD into local bank accounts,” noted Techzim, a blog focusing on information technology news, views and reviews.
Banks that are currently not accepting incoming US wire transfers include CABS, NMB Bank Limited, ZB Bank, Steward Bank and POSB.
In a 23 June email that was directed at clients, CABS managing director, Simon Hammond, wrote that incoming services would be stopped from 1 July.
“We will only be processing telegraphic transfers for individuals in ZAR (South African Rand) or in BWP (Botswana Pula).
“In light of this limitation, individual customers are advised to use the option of making payments to other SADC countries other than South Africa and Botswana, in ZAR, through the SADC Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS),”said Hammond.
NMB took the same move some two months ago, says Techzim, with the bank advising customers to look for alternative services for incoming transfers.
However, according to Techzim, banks that have stopped inward transfers are still accepting incoming USD into corporate accounts.
Apparently, the financial institutions are accepting incoming transfers into individual accounts if they are in South African Rand (ZAR), Botswana Pula (BW) and Euro (EUR).
However, established banks mostly with international presence are still accepting incoming transfers in the greenback.
As of 15 July, these included Barclays Bank, MBCA, CBZ, Stanbic Bank, BancABC, FBC Bank, EcoBank and Standard Chartered, which has suspended new accounts.