ZB bank has introduced domestic Nostro accounts for civil servants and government pensioners to receive their USD covid19 allowances and pay for goods and services at any point of sale.
Civil servants were protesting against poor working conditions and low wages failing to sustain then in the deteriorating economy.
In response government On Wednesday the 17 th of June 2020, through the Ministry of Finance and EconomicDevelopment announced that for the next three months, June inclusive, each civil servant would receive US$75 per month while their counterparts on pension would receive US$30.
A further instruction was issued that they open domestic nostro accounts.
ZB head corporate services Shadow Chiganze said the governments move to pay civil servants in USD promoted them to open Nostro domestic accounts.
“Following the announcement by government, ZB immediately proceeded to open USD Nostro accounts for all its customers who are Civil Servants and Government Pensioners to receive their salary or pensions.”
Deposits of salary and allowance made into ZB bank accounts are then moved into domestic Nostro accounts.
“When our customers receive their salaries and cushioning allowances through ZB Bank, the amount received is credited into their USD Nostroaccount.Customers with positive balances in their USD Nostro accounts can pay for goods and services on any Point of Sale (POS) device that accepts USD Nostro payments using a dedicated ATM card linked to the USD Nostro account, “ he said.
During a cabinet briefing yesterday Finance Economic and Development Minister Mthuli Ncube clarified on how and when these accounts work will start to work.
“Yes, the modalities for accessing the money have now been put in place. Banks were supposed to come up with ways to open accounts; that has been done, that was the first step. The second step was to make sure retailers are able to receive payments for goods and services, so that has been put in place. Please note that there has been progress and that the allowance is tax-free as previously announced and we will capture that in the Finance Bill.”
However, these accounts seem to be short changing civil servants as they can not withdraw cash , as government fears fueling of the black market.
“The funds in the Nostroaccount for civil servants and pensioners will not be withdrawn in cash in an effort to preventsuch funds from finding their way into the parallel market. However,the card can be used topay in USD for goods and services from any merchant.”
There is no USD cash for civil servants and pensioners after all , the money will be exchanged at the prevailing forex auction rate into local currency whilst purchasing for goods and services
Meanwhile the latest forex auction rate stands at 72.15 following yesterdays 5th round of the introduced auction system, its still battling with 85 parallel market rate.