Harare, (New Ziana) – Insurance firm, Zimnat said on Tuesday it had broadened focus into the bureau de change business, following in the footsteps of several companies.
To be known as ZFC Bureau de Change, the company will be involved in both foreign exchange and money transfer services.
“The idea of coming up with ZFX was born out of the need to ensure we
provide a holistic financial service for our customers,” said Zimnat chief executive Mustafa Sachak.
“In that vein we have also partnered with World Remit to ensure that our customers can also receive money from their benefactors in the diaspora and be able to change it under one roof.”
Zimnat, until now, only offered wealth management and investment services, general insurance, life assurance, asset management and microfinance.
By opening a bureau de change, the firm joins a long list of other companies that have extended their tentacles into the area that has become popular since Zimbabwe outlawed use of foreign currencies in general trading and re-introduced its local currency.
The Reserve Bank has licensed over 25 other firms, excluding banks, to
provide bureau de change services.
Sachak said it was the firm’s hope that ZFX would strengthen foreign
currency availability on the interbank market by providing competitive
“This bureau de change has also been born out of the need to provide a safe, legal and convenient place for changing one’s money and leveraging on our widespread distribution network,” he said.
“We hope to provide this convenience in all four corners of the country.”
But Bureau de changes are facing stiff competition from the parallel
market which has for long been a dominant force in the foreign currency exchange market.
While the coming on board of bureau de changes affected the black market initially, the latter has regained the upper hand through offering higher exchange rates than those obtaining on the official markets.
But official channels were safer than the parallel market where cases of
people being duped were rampant.