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Tuesday, Feb 19th

Stanbic feels the economic squeeze in Zim

Stanbic feels the economic squeeze in Zim

Payments for MultiChoice in Zimbabwe have been disabled on Stanbic Bank and the Standard Bank unit is now charging a higher levy on foreign credit and debit card payments – this as the country's financial sector remains gripped by uncertainty after President Emerson Mnangagwa's victory in the 30 July poll.

A message sent by Stanbic to consumers reads: "Please note that we are no longer facilitating DStv payments due to the prevailing economic environment."

Local DStv subscribers have run out of payment options, with some service providers insisting on US dollars. Rival operator Kwese TV accepts local currency payment and via mobile money.

MultiChoice said that payments could be made in South Africa, but there are queries over tax payment arrangements between the company and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

There was no immediate clarity on this issue at the time of publishing.

Social commentator Malvern Mukudu posted a message saying: "Will DStv first repatriate money to Zimbabwe? How will DStv be taxed (and what is the dark tax arrangement between DStv and Zimra."

Stanbic has also increased its charges on payments applications for its Visa card.

Banks in Zimbabwe demand that depositors fund their Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards with US Dollars before approval for international payments.

"With effect from 4 September 2018, a 1% charge of the total approved foreign currency amount will be levied on Visa card foreign currency applications," the Bank stated.

The country's ongoing struggle for liquidity has resulted in a sharp rise in the volume of electronic and mobile money payments.

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