THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in agreement with retailers and wholesalers have set the maximum cap on the cash back facility at US$20 while at the same time outlawing multiple pricing.
In statement, the RBZ said it had come up with a framework that seeks to nurture discipline and enhance compliance within the provisions of the Bank Use Promotion Act (Chapter 24: 24) and other regulatory requirements in the conduct of business.
This comes as banks continue to face challenges in meeting depositors demand for cash as most businesses are opting to use bond notes in particular to source for foreign currency for their goods on the parallel market. Bond notes are currently trading at 8 percent-10 percent against the US dollar.
The central bank said that retailers and wholesalers shall be enjoined, in compliance with the provisions of the Bank Use Promotion Act [Chapter 24:24], to bank the cash generated from their businesses and maintain records of all transactions (including purchases, sales, discounts and banking). “Any cash-back facility made available by retailers and wholesalers shall not exceed an amount of US$20.”
In addition, retailers and wholesalers, shall bank all excess cash collections within 24 hours as required in terms of the Bank Use Promotion Act.
In drawing up the framework, the Reserve Bank said it had been guided by the realities of the prevailing trading patterns, whereby retailers and wholesalers are an integral stakeholder in the overall circulation of currency in light of their interface and linkages with manufacturers (suppliers) and the general public (consumers) through the distribution of various commodities.
To enhance the use of plastic money for transactions, the RBZ shall collaborate with wholesalers, retailers and their associations to ensure the adequate provision of Point of Sale (POS) machines in order to enhance the use of plastic money for transactions.
In line with the need to promote financial transparency, the RBZ said banking and the use of plastic money, the RBZ said, manufacturers and suppliers of goods, including fuel, should not demand cash for any goods supplied to retailers and wholesalers. In that regard, any dispensation and matching arrangements previously granted to certain sectors are hereby revoked.
Further the apex bank said, retailers and wholesalers shall sell any particular product for the same price irrespective of the mode of payment and desist from multiple pricing of goods on account of mode of payment (cash, Real Times Gross Settlement (RTGS) and Point of Sale or a combination of any two or more of them).
“For the avoidance of doubt, retailers and wholesalers shall not charge any premium for the sale and purchase of their wares on the basis of mode of payment. Similarly any cash or quantity discount shall, in accordance with best practice, be granted in the normal course of business and not on the basis of the multiple pricing system.”
“To ensure the smooth circulation of currency in the economy and ease of transacting, it is imperative that all retailers and wholesalers adhere to the relevant guidelines and regulations governing their operations,” RBZ said. – FinX