Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, mobile money service provider, EcoCash has reduced its international ATM withdrawal limits on its MasterCard Debit card to $50 a month, a tell-tale sign that the foreign currency shortages are worsening.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
In a notice to subscribers, Econet said cardholders could withdraw $50 from international ATMs, $200 on point-of-sale terminals and $50 for online payments.
“Please be advised that with effect from August 2, 2017, the EcoCash card limits for international transactions have been adjusted as follows, point of sale $200 per month, ATM withdrawal $50 per month and online payments $50 per month,” Econet said.
The move is likely to deal a heavy blow to cross-border traders, who have been relying on EcoCash to purchase goods outside the country.
Last December, EcoCash reduced withdrawal limits from $1 100 to $500.
The depletion of nostro accounts could have influenced Econet’s decision to cut ATM withdrawals.
The country has $350 million in nostro accounts against the required $600 million, however, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Wednesday said it has negotiated for an enhanced nostro stabilisation facility of $600 million from Afreximbank to manage the cyclical nature of Zimbabwe’s foreign exchange receipts.
While RBZ said individuals could carry up to $2 000 when they leave the country, the cost of getting foreign currency for ordinary Zimbabweans was high due to the scarcity of physical cash on the market.