If you have a $100 in your Ecocash wallet right now you should know, it is now worth less than half that in cash. It could be worth just half if you are willing to settle for coins which most businesses will not accept.

In our latest survey, we noted with concern how the black market cashout premium continues to go up due to cash shortages. The government, flush with all the money they are raising through the 2% tax, appear to be reluctant to solve this crisis.

The cashout premium rates

Currency TypeCashout Premium
Bond Coins40% minimum
Bond Notes55% minimum

Here are some things to note:

  • These are just the unofficial premiums you have to pay to get cash, you will still have to pay the actual official cashout rates found here
  • This means the percentage worth of your money is actually worth even less when these charges are factored in
  • Higher amounts attract higher fees

The RBZ’s half-hearted attempts

Afraid of fueling inflation, the RBZ has been very reluctant to print more bond notes in order to solve the cash crisis. The latest monetary statement does make some passing remarks on the cash crisis but voices this very same fear.

Accordingly, without prejudice to our cash-lite society drive which has served the country very well, the Bank will continue to inject additional notes and coins on a gradual basis, to support productive and lessen the inconvenience caused by physical cash shortages to the transacting public. The cash injections will not result in an increase in money supply as banks will use their existing RTGS balances to exchange for cash.

RBZ Midterm Monetary Policy September 2019

Don’t expect the bank lines to go away anytime soon.


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