#MondayBlues: Stanchart Visa Card Ban Exposes RBZ Hypocrisy

Standard chartered bank has finally given up the diplomacy behind foreign currency shortages, in a move which is likely to spark national outrage, should other banks follow suit as they openly ban use of visa cards in other nations, pending authorization.

The bank has put in place a system where they demand travelers to first declare and apply for authorization to use foreign currency should they wish to travel outside Zimbabwe, 72 hours before travelling.  

By Toneo T Rutsito.

The irony of the whole matter is that RBZ has continuously told Zimbabweans that the bond notes are equal to the US dollar and have been purchased at the same trading rates while the nation continues to sink in foreign currency shortages, in a US dollar based economy, with fully loaded bank balances that do not trade across the nation.

Standard Chartered Bank simply proved our notion that the bank balances running on Zimbabwean accounts are not real US dollar, but mere RTGS bond notes value which the RBZ created as they have already depleted the supporting foreign currency.

The biggest joke ever to be officially announced as the excuse has been lack of hard cash blamed to money laundering.If this is surely a fact then Zimbabweans should be allowed to freely withdraw their money in any  foreign land where there is no cash crisis.

This is a clear sign that the actual US based nostro accounts are heavily depleted, and no-one has questioned why our RTGS bank accounts can no longer be supported internationally with the same bank balance.

The move authenticates the bond note conspiracy that it was only  introduced, not as a cash incentive, but as a alternative currency to clean the US dollar off the market and offer a local currency that can not be traded internationally.

Zimbabwe  companies are struggling to pay for international supplies with Econet and Delta crying out foul, as the RBZ fails to settle the international payments due to  lack of actual currency to back up the circulating currently.

The RBZ introduced a priority list that  gives preferences to payment of imports deemed to be of benefit to the economy and aims to curtail unrestrained importation of fringe goods. StanChart said its clients would have to apply for a “special dispensation” three days ahead of travel if they intend to use their Visa cards outside the country.


In statement ,Standard Charted bank announced:

To Our Valued Clients

We regret to advise that we have cancelled the automatic use of your VISA debit card outside Zimbabwe with immediate effect. However, Clients who wish to use their cards outside Zimbabwe may still apply for **special consideration prior to travel. Please note, there are NO changes to the local functionalities of the VISA Debit Card.

This decision has been taken to ensure best use of the increasingly scarce foreign currency resources which is disbursed in line with the Priority List issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe if and when available.

Once again, we regret this move and apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. We will continue to monitor the environment and should there be any other changes, you will be notified accordingly.

How do I apply for Special Consideration in advance of travel?

Clients who wish to use their cards outside Zimbabwe may apply for special consideration at least 72 hours before their date of departure. Customers are requested to submit evidence of all the expected expenses to be incurred whilst travelling outside the country at any Standard Chartered branch or to their Relationship Manager. Alternatively customers can send their application to [email protected], attaching all documentation which confirms travel dates and expenses expected to be incurred.

All advance applications will be reviewed in line with the Priority List Guidelines on external payments announced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 2016.


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