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Retailers, service providers switch to ZiG prices

by Staff reporter
10 Apr 2024 at 06:02hrs | Views
SEVERAL businesses and key service providers had by yesterday successfully converted prices of their goods and services to the new Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency to ensure smooth consumer transactions.

However, the banking system was still to operationalise digital transactions such as swiping and transfer of funds by the end of the day as they were said to be finalising the transition processes.

The conversion rate from the Zimbabwe dollar to the ZiG has been set at US$1 – ZiG13.5686.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mushayavanhu introduced the new currency last Friday, which is backed by the country's gold and foreign currency reserves, and other precious metals.

According to the RBZ, ZiG notes and coins will start circulating on April 30, but the electronic banking systems should be operational this week.

Service providers, including the Bulawayo City Council and some banks, yesterday notified clients through generic messages that the conversion process has been completed.

NMB Bank and Stewart Bank also said conversions have been completed with Stanbic Bank advising clients that some services have been restored.

The Chronicle news crew observed that some retail outlets such as Pick and Pay had also changed prices on shelves to denote ZiG.

Dr Mashayavanhu has said in preparation for the structured currency, it is important that stakeholders involved in the payment systems sector are ready to on-board the new ZiG currency.

"By April 8, 2024 (Monday), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), who are essential to the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, will also be expected to ensure that all of their customers can effortlessly transition from ZW$ wallets to ZiG wallets," said the RBZ Governor.

He further directed that once the local currency is re-denominated in ZiG, all domestic traders are expected to consistently modify their pricing strategy to account for the currency reforms from the RBZ.

The Governor gave all entities, other than banks and MNOs, seven days from last Friday to have completed the configuration of their systems to conduct business in ZiG.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president, Dr Denford Mutashu, said the macro-economic stability is key in the achievement of the country's vision of an upper middle-income economy by 2030 hence the retailers and wholesalers believe new policy measures by Dr Mushayavanhu will ensure price stability in the market.

He noted that they expect prices of basic commodities in retail shops and wholesalers to be in line with the exchange rate movement.

He said by introducing market-determined forex management system and linking the currency to a composite basket of reserve assets, RBZ will ensure stability in the market.

Dr Mutashu said one of the significant pronouncements was the introduction of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 200 notes with coins for half and a quarter ZiG.

He said retailers and wholesalers will now have change, which most shops have been offering sweets, chocolates and other goods that customers may not need at that time.

"CZR urges retailers and wholesalers to immediately migrate to ZiG denominated pricing in line with the new regulations," said Dr Mutashu.

"As retailers, we are urging all our members to take note of the Monetary Police Statement recommendations and start converting their prices into ZiG from the ZWL prices. This development marks a significant change in the currency system of Zimbabwe, and it will likely have implications for the country's economy and financial transactions."

Meanwhile, members of the public have also embraced the new currency and expressed excitement over the smooth transition process.

They commended businesses that have completed the switching process and urged those remaining to follow suit, to ensure a seamless operationalisation of the new system.

Said one of the consumers Mr Kudzai Hwamiridza:

"We expect the ZiG to work well and not to be easily affected by inflation. I am personally happy because the Government made sure that the people's RTGS balances are converted into the new ZiG currency with value preservation."

Source - The Chronicle
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