Barely 48 hours after the Minister of Finance announced that civil servants would be receiving a Covid-19 allowance in “USD”, banks have already started working clients in a bid to woo them to open Nostro FCA accounts to be made. Civil servants are the largest employed group of people in Zimbabwe and a lot of banks sense that there is money to be made.

Dear client, open a Nostro account in 5 different currencies in less than 5 minutes using online banking and the SC Mobile app

An SMS sent by StanChart to their clients

While most banks have always had the Nostro FCA facility it was not very popular. Only employees paid by foreign companies and non-governmental organisations had need for them. The Nostro USD allowance scheme involving civil servants being paid in electronic USD by the government creates a lucrative opportunity that most banks seem keen to capitalise.

A lot of banks have either already contact their existing RTGS Account holders or published promotional messages on social media. Banks with RTGS account holders have also gone out of their way to make it easy for these account holders to be able to open accounts with them. For some banks, if you have an account you can even create the FCA account yourself using either an App or online banking.

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