Zimbabwe’s Transition to New ZiG Currency Reportedly Prompts Banking Disruptions

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Friday announced the introduction of a new gold-backed “structured currency,” the ZiG, to replace the Zimbabwean dollar, which has plummeted in value over the past year, causing skyrocketing inflation.

Banking operations in Zimbabwe have been disrupted as financial institutions rushed to convert all Zimbabwe dollar account balances to ZiG, the new legal tender, media reported.

Thus, ZimSwitch, the national payments platform provider, revealed that processing of local dollar transactions across financial institutions is currently unavailable.

“Normal services will be restored once financial institutions have configured the new currency,” ZimSwitch said in a statement.

Nedbank, a South African banking giant operating in Zimbabwe, reportedly notified its clients of system downtime, stating that their systems are undergoing changes to integrate the new ZiG currency over the weekend.

Furthermore, Ecocash Holdings, the leading mobile money operator in Zimbabwe, reported that all its Zimbabwe dollar services were unavailable. Similarly, Econet Wireless Holding, the country’s largest telecommunications operator, also reportedly suspended trading in the old currency.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank noted that “satisfactory progress” has been made by the banking sector in converting balance sheets in line with the new monetary policy measures.

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