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Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduces RTGS dollars

When John Mangudya, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe presented the 2019 Monetary Policy in February, many Zimbabweans did not anticipate a major shift in policy.

The central bank announced the introduction of Real Time Gross Transfer dollars better known as RTGS dollars. Essentially, bond notes, coins and electronic money will fall under the new RTGs currency.

Although, John Mangudya has not confirmed that the RTGS dollars are Zimbabwe’s new currency, unofficially they are being treated as a currency. Consumers with local bank accounts will see their money change to RTGS Dollars whereas, the currency in the Foreign Currency Accounts will remain unchanged.

Unlike the bond note which was valued 1:1 against the US dollar, the central bank expects the official exchange rate to be 3-4 RTGS dollars against the US Dollar. RBZ also launched  the Interbank Forex Market which allows the exchange of foreign currency between banks and Bureau De Changes.

“The bank is in the process of establishing an immediate interbank foreign exchange market in Zimbabwe to formalize RBTR balances (real-time gross settlement) and bond notes with US dollars and other currencies on the basis of over-the-counter transactions through banks and exchange offices,” Mangudya said.

According to John Madunya prices will not change, the only difference is that RTGS balances are now called RTGS dollars. Before the the Interbank Foreign Currency Market was introduced, customers who needed to transfer US dollars had to do withdraw them from one bank and deposit them to another. Customers will now be able to move money between bank accounts easily.

Emmanuel Chilamphuma is a Senior Analyst at Edgebold Capital

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