The Sunday Mail
PLASTIC money is gradually grabbing a foothold on the local market, with recent revelations from FBC Bank that there was tremendous uptake of its MasterCard from the market. The card – FBC Bank MasterCard Prepaid – gives holders access to 33,3 million ATMs in 210 countries worldwide.
It allows for online transactions, air tickets and hotel bookings and school fees payments.
It is also believed that more than 9 000 clients have applied for the FBC MasterCard Prepaid since January last year.
Zimbabwean traders are often targeted by thieves since they are known for carrying huge sums of money, especially when they are travelling to countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania.
Currently, the bank’s haul of plastic money services include: the ACCA Prepaid MasterCard, Business Prepaid MasterCard and Ordinary Prepaid card for ACCA payments.
Speaking during a Customer Focus Group hosted by the FBC recently, Samora Machel Branch senior manager Ms Lauretta Wanyanya noted that the range of services offered by the new product makes transacting in foreign countries easy.
She added that FBC Bank was moving towards the chip instead of the strip system currently being used in Zimbabwe.
“The bank’s efforts are towards migrating the MasterCard product to chip, the process is at an advanced stage and the bank will soon convert all its MasterCard card types to chip,” she said.
Dr Hesphina Rukato, who travels frequently across borders, said although she had faced challenges at some points that rejected the card it had brought expediency to travelling Zimbabweans.
The FBC Bank was the first local bank to introduce the MasterCard brand in Zimbabwe’s multi-currency economy.
The FBC MasterCard, which allows customers to make online purchases and cash withdrawals on MasterCard-branded ATMs and Point of Sale machines, is also expected to grow in popularity.
The card, according to the FBC Bank, is also available over the counter without opening any bank account, making it popular with the unbanked population.
Hoteliers and some retail outlets have also been trying to promote plastic money transactions through offering discounts and this seems to have boosted the sector.