EcoCash has announced they will be suspending the use of their MasterCard internationally. This comes hot on the heels of news announcing you can use the card only after you fund it in USD Cash.
In a statement on Facebook, the leading mobile money provider announced that the suspension of the card has been extended indefinitely. They also deferred the provision to pre-fund in USD cash. So for now, you are stuck with your bond note.
Econet had resorted to the MasterCard needing to be pre-funded before use. This is in line with what some other providers of prepaid MasterCards are doing. FBC’s prepaid card always worked this way, even in the better times. The shadow is cast on where the forex is supposed to come from.
EcoCash joins an ever-growing list of financial services providers who are halting international payments. Others, like Barclays Zimbabwe, resort to deterrent charges and dwindling limits per day. The forex crisis is rising, and it won’t be long before a shortage of electronics hits us. Considering online payments are being stopped as well, the day may come sooner than later.
The practice of demanding USD cash to fund accounts is in the legal grey area. It remains to be seen whether the law will catch up with those that are still carrying out the practice.