Barclays suspends DStv payments

Barclays  suspends DStv payments
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe has suspended DStv payments.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe has suspended DStv payments.

BARCLAYS Bank Zimbabwe has suspended payments to Multichoice, Africa’s largest pay TV company, with effect from tomorrow, citing unavailability of foreign currency, as depositors run out of foreign payment options.
Zimbabwe has been grappling with an acute shortage of foreign currency since early 2016, forcing the central bank and banks to maintain a tight regime of forex allocations.
Before the latest development, Barclays Bank account holders had the privilege of using bond notes in their bank accounts to make DStv payments without having to pre-fund with the US dollar first.
In a statement on Wednesday, Barclays Zimbabwe said: “We kindly advise that we will temporarily suspend the DStv payment service with effect from 1 December 2017. This suspension arises from the need to effectively allocate limited foreign currency to other critical needs.”
The suspension of DStv payments is said to be compliance with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) priority list which guides the execution of all foreign payments for authorised foreign currency in Zimbabwe.
Early this month, Barclays suspended the use of its debit cards outside the country without pre-funding them with the US dollar first.
In a statement the bank said: “Please be advised that usage of the VISA card for cross-border transactions is now subject to prior arrangements and approvals by Barclays Bank. Applications can be made through your nearest Barclays branch.”
In July, Steward Bank, a unit of mobile telephony operator Econet Wireless, said, in a statement, that it was suspending payments to Multichoice.
In October, the country’s biggest banking group CBZ Holdings also announced that it was suspending payments for DStv.
The worsening foreign currency crisis has forced financial institutions to tighten transaction limits on international cards, which most banks now require depositors to fund with hard currency before travel.
Nine out of the 12 local banks that offer international debit cards Visa and MasterCard have asked depositors to fund the cards in hard cash while capping spending limits.
RBZ governor, John Mangudya is on record saying he supported the banks’ initiatives on prefunding of international cards, saying this would help bring hoarded funds into the formal banking system.
Last year in May, the central bank set priorities for imports, imposed limits on cash withdrawals and introduced a bond note currency in a bid to ease the acute shortage of money.
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