In a bid to harness foreign currency inflows in Zimbabwe, some banks are now offering extra incentives on top of the 5 percent currently being offered by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The RBZ last year introduced the Diaspora Remittance Incentive Scheme (DRIS) in order to increase the remittances sent through formal channels.
In the recent Mid-Term Monetary Policy Statement, the governor Dr John Mangudya further raised the incentive to 10 percent for those who prefer to get the payments through the bank transfer system.
Remittances remain one of the main sources of net financial flows not only in Zimbabwe but in most developing countries as they overshadow official development assistance, private debt and portfolio equity.
Steward Bank CEO Dr Lance Mambondiani told Business Weekly the bank had engaged a number of its diaspora clients to help the bank set up a diaspora remittance system aimed at boosting its inflows.
“Diaspora remittances remain a critical source of liquidity in the market and as Steward Bank we will continue to place effective systems to encourage the use of our EcoCash and Steward Bank diaspora platforms by citizens living outside Zimbabwe.
“We have realised that diaspora remittances occur throughout the year so incentivising our foreign clients will help boost our nostro accounts. We are offering an incentive of 5 percent over and above RBZ’s 5 percent incentive to bring total incentives to 10 percent,” said Dr Mambondiani.
FBC spokesperson Priscilla Sadomba said her bank has also moved to incentivise diaspora community with the intention of encouraging them to use formal channels to send money from diaspora.
“We have also joined the trend of incentivising diaspora remittances after realising that it is one critical area that supply’s us foreign currency throughout the year, therefore the need to top up RBZ’s export incentive.
Both banks are paying the incentive within 48 hours of the time the money would have been sent.