USD / ZWL$ ZIPIT/Bank^ 800
USD / ZWL$ Swipe*** 800
USD / ZWL$ OneMoney 750
USD / ZWL$ Ecocash 750
USD / BOND* or ZWL Cash 700
USD / BOND** or ZWL Cash (USD1 Notes) 700
USD / ZWL$ RBZ Auction Rate 494.9883
USD / ZWL$ Willing Buyer Willing Seller Rate
(Official Rate)
USD / ZWL$ Mosi oa Tunya
Gold Coin Rate
USD / ZWL$ Skrill 800
USD / ZWL$ Bitcoin 800
USD/USD Skrill 1.03
USD/USD Bitcoin 1.03
Latest official and unofficial rates

Last updated Thursday 18 August 2022 at 9:08:47 Central Africa Time

  • Need more rates? You can see up-to-date rates involving the ZWL versus 190 rates here.
  • The Gold Coin Rate is the rate at which gold coins are being sold at in ZWL
  • The willing buyer willing seller rate is now the official rate in Zimbabwe supplanting the Auction rate.
  • Local electronic foreign currency transactions now attract a rate of 4% while local ZWL transactions continue to have a rate of 2%
  • Shops are now allowed to use the willing buyer willing seller rate within a margin of 10%
  • While the previous official auction rate changed on a weekly basis, the willing buyer willing seller rate changes at most five times a week from Monday to Friday provided there are no bank holidays in between. The rate for the last business day of the week, usually Friday but can be Thursday if Friday is a bank holiday, applies to the entire weekend until around 9:00 AM the following Monday.
  • The willing buyer willing seller rate changes every business day around 9:00 AM. So for example the rate on Monday starts to apply around 9:00 AM on that Monday, then it is updated on Tuesday at 9:00 AM and so on.
  • *There is a difference between the rate that shops use for their calculations e.g. when you have to top up in ZWL notes (bond) versus the rate you will get by illegally selling USD on the streets. We don’t publish street or black market rates here see below to understand what these rates are and how they are calculated.
  • For example some, shops currently use a cash rate of $700.00 ZWL cash per 1 USD when setting their prices. On the streets, you would probably only get $650 -$600 ZWL.
  • Our site is about informing you about the latest prices we have never dealt with, are not dealing and will never involve ourselves in black market deals.
  • Even though Skrill has announced that it will close Zimbabwean accounts, Skrill balances are coveted by people who are into gambling and forex trading.
  • It’s not as coveted as Bitcoin which offers people the ability to move funds around away from the gaze of authorities. Bitcoin is also used in gambling and forex trading.
  • Both currencies sell at a premium even in USD.

Something important to note

NB Our rates are there to help you navigate and make sense of prices offered in some shops which either a high rate e.g. Tuckshops, Pharmacies or deduce the implied rate used by some shops to set their prices based on what they sell their products in USD for in their online stores and ZWL in brick and mortar stores. It should not be used as a guide to the black market.

This should not be used as some magical guide to the world of illicit foreign currency trading. We are more interested in the prices of various items than anything else and will continue to focus on that aspect.

How are implied rates calculated?

As already pointed out we are primarily interested in prices. So here is an example, of how we come up with the implied rates. The bulk of employed people in Zimbabwe are civil servants who earn RTGS. We pose as a person who wants to buy something in RTGS, walk into a pharmacy or shop which sells primarily in USD. There is an item x selling for US$1 and we ask for the RTGS price.

The cashier pulls out their giant business calculator or enters a mysterious code into their system. A few moments later, you are told the price. This usually goes along the lines of “If you are paying using swipe or ZIPIT, you will have to pay $1000 ZWL.” When we get home we pull out our own calculators and attempt to come up with the rate that was used.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 Auction Summary

Details SME Auction 101 Main Auction 107
Amount Allotted US$2 922 259.56 US$13 693 994.57
The Highest Rate 550.0000 550.0000
The Lowest Rate 460.0000 460.0000
Lowest Accepted Rate 460.0000 460.0000
Number of Bids Received 328 131
Number of Accepted Bids 325 127
Number of Bids Alloted 316 120
Number of Bids Disqualified 3 7

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 RBZ Foreign Currency Allocations

Purpose Amount Allotted SME Auction (US$) Amount Allotted Main Auction (US$)
Raw Materials $885 441.90 $7 384 103.02
Machinery and Equipment $1 072 573.36 $2 454 333.40
Consumables (Incl. Spares, Tyres, Electricals, etc) $347 769.06 $1 136 376.08
Services (Loans, Education, Dividends, Disinvestments, etc) $239 723.78 $1 616 091.90
Retail and Distribution (Incl. Food, Beverages, etc) $185 127.98 $635 402.88
Electricity $0.00 $0.00
Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals $100 573.34 $308 449.29
Paper and Packaging $9 105 014.14 $159 238.00
TOTAL $2 922 259.56 $13 693 994.57

Highlights from the Tuesday, 16 August 2022 Auction

  • A Grand Total of US$16,616,254.13 was distributed through the auction during the week of Tuesday, 16 August 2022, which is US$4,883,597.51 less than the US$21,499,851.64 distributed from the last auction on Wednesday, 10 August 2022
  • Officially, the Zimbabwean dollar lost value by $16.3525ZWL as it moved from $478.6358 ZWL:1 USD to $494.9883 : 1 USD
  • There have been 107 main auctions and 101 SME auctions since the auction system began
  • The average rate is to be used with caution. Please read our explanation on why the rate is to be treated as a rough guide rather than used for internal calculations
  • Reasons for disqualification include things like the need for the foreign currency not being on the RBZ's priority list, the bidding company having what appears to be enough foreign currency in its account(s), companies that seem like they are externalising etc.
  • What all this means is that demand for foreign currency still far outstrips supply and
  • Some people/entities who wanted foreign currency were not able to get it
  • More often than not these entities find a way to get that foreign currency as failure is not an option.
  • The data published by the RBZ shows that the bulk of forex trading takes place on the forex auction
  • However, this market is not yet open to individuals who earn RTGS and are in need of forex for example:
    • Individuals who want to pay their pay-TV subscriptions which are only payable in USD- in one year the RBZ provided that showed that almost US$100 million was being spent on this
    • Individuals looking to pay fees for themselves or their children in foreign universities
    • People who want to import vehicles and other goods and services for themselves
    • Informal businesses whose import needs are not in line with the foreign currency priority list

Other Things to note

  • The new official rate is now determined by the willing buyer and willing seller rate used by banks. The auction rate is now to be influenced by this.
  • Generally, auctions are carried out on Tuesdays, although they can take place on other days if, for example, the relevant Tuesday falls on a holiday. In any case, auctions are a weekly event, and no more than one auction takes place each week.
  • The government has banned ZSE brokers from making sub-account transfers.
  • We don’t illegally trade in foreign currency. This data is obtained from various sources on what shops are charging in ZWL and USD and what illegal traders are offering or asking for.
  • There is an undeniable link between prices in Zimbabwe and the black market exchange rates which a lot of businesses, including retailers and manufacturers use to compute their prices.
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