I know that most of you have been sweating about the fact that Zimbabwe has, over the past year of so, gone from a multi-currency regime to a system that’s pretty much cashless. The transformation has not been without problems. For one thing, prices have increased across pretty much every sector, largely due to the reduced access to foreign currency. The only place where you can still get cash US Dollars today is the black market. Forced to buy the Forex at a rate that now stands at 70%, those needing foreign currency in order to import goods raw materials have been left with no option but to increase prices. So, are Cash USDs still Available in Zimbabwe for Remittances?
Your Relatives get cash US Dollars when you sent money from the diaspora
If you are in the diaspora, you may be sweating about the possibility that your relatives will get virtual money for the Forex that you send to them. Not that there is anything really wrong with the virtual currency, other than the fact that it’s worth 70% less than actual US dollars.
How to Receive Cash from the Diaspora while in Zimbabwe
I recently received money from a client of mine who is in the United States. He used Western Union to send the money to me. On the same day, I was also collecting cash that had been sent to me by a brother in South Africa via Mukuru.
It was actually shocking, after so long without handling cash, to walk into POSB and head straight to a teller, without having to wait several hours in a queue. When I got there, I immediately got cash United States Dollars for the Western Union and Mukuru money.
An Import Incentive
Not only is Cash USDs still Available in Zimbabwe for Remittances from the diaspora, but your relatives also get an export incentive. The incentive, which is pegged at 5% (the agent takes 2%), was, in my case, paid out in funny looking 5 cents bond coins, along with $2 bond notes.
Do my relatives get cash when I send money to Zimbabwe?
So, to the question, do my relatives get cash when I send money to Zimbabwe, the answer is yes! Whatever the medium that you use to send money to your relatives in Zimbabwe; whether Mukuru, Western Union, World Remit or any other platform, your relatives in Zimbabwe will get cash in United States Dollars. Cash United States Dollars remain available for money that is sent to Zimbabwe from the diaspora.
Why is the RBZ encouraging this?
The RBZ, not doubt, realizes that all the money that is received as cash US dollars ends up on the black market. Yet the major advantage in encouraging people to remit money to Zimbabwe is that it gives the country a chance to get the elusive foreign currency.
Besides which it enables people to get value for their money which, after all, is real foreign currency and not some virtual contortion. I have previously lamented the fact that the money that I make online is lost due to the fact that my clients sent it into my Payoneer MasterCard.
Now, because I have no access to an ATM that hands out cash United States Dollars, my very real USDs in the Payoneer account are treated in the same way as the virtual money in my local FBC card. Now, I have asked my clients to send the money to me via MasterCard. It’s a lot more expensive than Payoneer, but it means I get 70% more value by visiting Roadport.