22 November 2012

Zambia: November 30 Is Rebasing Testing Day for Banks

THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has set November 30, 2012, as an official day when all financial institutions are expected to test all their systems towards the dispensing and handling of the new rebased local currency.

BoZ senior inspector bank supervision Raphael Kasonde said the testing exercise was aimed at ensuring that all machines were ready and able to handle the new currency.

He said that after the testing exercise, the central bank would then certify the systems as ready for adaption to the rebased currency.

Speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the Barclays Bank rebasing workshop, Mr Kasonde said the double pricing period would run from December 1 to June 30, 2013.

Mr Kasonde urged Zambians to embrace the use of coins saying that having coins in circulation was for the better of all Zambians and the economy as a whole.

He said coins were more economic in the sense that that they have longer lifespan of approximately 20 years as compared with notes which are easily damaged.

"The use of coins will come with a lot of economic benefits like it will support the establishment of toll gates which will create more revenue for the country.

The central bank will have a cost saving measure as it will not be changing more frequently compared to paper notes," he said.

At the same function, Barclays Bank Zambia Plc corporate banking director Charles Carey said his bank had set aside K10 billion for the process.

He said the invested fund would be injected to capacitate all the bank's 55 branches and its 151 ATMs towards the usage of the new currency.

Mr Carey said the investment would go a long way in putting the bank on the right track towards the exercise and ensure that it works seamlessly during the transition period as per requirement by the central bank.

He said that the bank had positioned itself to work effectively during and after the rebasing process and work closely with the central bank as this will culminate in positive financial sector development.

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