Harare - Zimbabwean banks are set to introduce new accounts targeted for low income earners in line with statements made by the ministry of finance that it will come down hard on banks with regards to bank charges and lending rates.
In his 2013 budget speech, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the Central Bank and the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe will sit together and craft a memorandum of understanding on the manner in which the lending rates will be defined.
In this regard the banks have proposed a new low-cost bank account to be rolled out to low income earners in a bid to drive financial inclusion and lower the cost of banking.
Details of the “new account” called Zimtransact are contained in a memorandum of understanding seen by Fin24.
The MOU is between participating banks through the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, the ministry of finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The Zimtransact account will have a free ATM card while ATM withdrawals will also be free.
Point of sale transactions at retail outlets will attract a US10 cents fee while withdrawals from the branches would attract normal bank charges.
Deposits made into the Zimtransact account would be capped at $300 per month to curb potential abuse by high income earners. The account will attract a maintenance fee of $3.
According to the MOU, the savings account will attract a 2% interest rate per annum provided such funds are in line with each individual bank’s minimum balance requirements.
Zimbabwean banks normally charge 1% for withdrawals while bank maintenance fees are around $10 per month.