Bureaux de Change are said to becoming popular among residents of Bulawayo causing illegal foreign currency dealers to lose on business.
A survey by the Chronicle in the city on Monday revealed that some members of the transacting public prefer bureaux de change as they are safer than transacting on the black market.
A Bulawayo resident, Nobukhosi Moyo who spoke to the publication is quoted as saying that changing money at bureaux de changes is more discreet and safer. She said:
It is more discreet and safer. There is privacy and I have no fear that there could be someone following me.
I used to change on the streets but the problem with that is you could never trust the person you are dealing with.
Sometimes forex dealers connive with robbers and you can be robbed of your money soon after changing.
Despite the safety of bureaux de changes, some residents complained that service was slow. One Farai Makuvaza said:
I know that at the banks and bureaux de changes it is safer but the service is very slow. Too much paperwork for me to just change my money. In the streets it is swift and I do not need to wait until it’s my turn.
An illegal foreign currency dealer told the Chronicle that business has become less lucrative as competition from bureaux de changes has become stiffer. He said:
It makes it difficult to operate because we have to offer deals that are just as competitive but it is unsustainable. Our major business now is selling cash.
If someone wants bond notes in exchange for bank transfer or zipit, we offer the deals at a premium. The average rate is 30 per cent but it can go higher or lower depending on demand.
On Monday, some of the designated forex outlets were offering ZWL$10,4 and ZWL$7,4 per US$1 for electronic transfers and cash transactions respectively while on the streets, US$1 was being traded for ZWL$10,60 for electronic transactions and ZWL$7,5 for cash.
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