In The Diaspora And Want To Send School Fees To Zimbabwe? Steward Bank Is Guaranteeing Cash Pick Up

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us$ 50, bank note

Living outside Zimbabwe but having family to support back home can be complicated sometimes, well at least I think so. It’s hard enough being away from those you love, to then have problems when sending money to family just adds to your anxiety.

Before you even send the money there is the question of which remittance service to use? How do you send money safely in a way that allows your family to receive it in its true value? Every other service out there claims to be the real solution for you and they promise almost the same thing all of them. Who do you pick?

Maybe the last time you sent money your relatives received it in bond notes because some unscrupulous agent wanted to keep the US dollars for themselves yet you really wanted your family to receive the money in its full value: you worked for it right? Maybe the last time you sent money your poor money spent the whole week going to try pick up the cash and they were told there was no cash; she only got the money on the 8th day because she woke up at 3am.

Steward Bank could be your answer

Steward Bank is guaranteeing cash when your relatives come to collect the money you have sent. No stories, no bond, just cash in USD. You don’t have to be anxious and pacing the floor from wherever you are wondering whether your dear father will indeed get the cash.

This is particularly a comforting thought when you are sending school fees at this twilight hour and you can’t afford any delay otherwise mwana anotadza kuenda kuchikoro (the child will not be able to go to school).

You get choice

So which remittance service do you use for your relative to be able to collect money from Steward Bank? Take a pick:

Steward Bank has relationships with MoneyGram, Cassava Remit, Hello Paisa, World Remit and Western Union. This gives you flexibility to pick a remittance service you like or that is convenient to you whilst still relying on the Steward Bank guarantee that your relatives will receive the money on time and in cash.


Cash pickups are available at all Steward Bank branches and at Steward Bank agents at selected Econet Shops. This makes the network quite wide and thus brings the service closer to your relatives.

Now you can send the school fees.


  1. Gh

    i like the idea but i didnt quiet get how i deposit the money so that my people back home get it.Do you mean i have to deposit it at MOney Gram,western union outlets or you have your own outlets

    1. Tinashe Nyahasha

      You send your money through the usual remittance channels: Western Union, MoneyGram, WorldRemit and Cassava Remit. Your relatives back home can then go and pick up at Steward Bank branches or some Econet Shops that have Steward Bank agents.

  2. Anonymous

    You did not explain at all what is new in this service. Are you saying that Stewart Bank is now a WU or Moneygram agent? I use WU to send money to Zim. Picking up the cash at any of the currently existing WU agents is never a problem. My issue with WU is that it is very costly and this is where I am looking for an alternative. Even if you have a USD account in a foreign country and you want to send USD to Zim, Western Union deliberately bills you in local currency in that country and they take a big profit margin from the exchange rate before charging you an additional remittance fee. When the card transaction hits your USD bank account, the local amount is again converted to USD at another skewed rate. The double exchange rate loss plus remittance fee feels like a gang rape! In the end, the total cost of a WU remittance comes close to 10% of the remitted amount and this is quite painful. There is a good chance for any financial institution in Zim to enter into the remittance business and seriously undercut WU (and World Remit too) by taking only a small commission say 1 or 2% and by giving the remitter the choice of which of the major currencies they wish to be billed in. All that they need to do is setup an online service to process the transactions. The bank simply acts like an online merchant accepting the major international cards like visa and mastercard. They bill the remitter as if he had paid for some goods and the transaction is processed online and the remitter receives a reference number which they then relay to the recipient. The recipient should then be able to use this reference number and their ID document to collect the cash in hard currency from the branch (less a small commission or the commission can be charged to the remitter already). The bank could dedicate a few ATMs around the country where recipients can withdraw the USD, EUR, GBP or ZAR by entering a code at the ATM without a physical card. for example processes small international visa/mastercard transactions without charging any extra commission to the card holder. I am not sure behind the scenes how much they are charged by visa/mastercard but it must be negligible or they wouldn’t be able to sustain it. If Paynow can do it, there is no reason why a whole bank couldn’t do the same while charging a small commission. The idea is to not be greedy. If the central bank allows remittance companies to pay out cash to recipients, there is no logic in not allowing a bank that receives money from outside the country to also pay it out in cash.

    1. Tinashe Nyahasha

      Very good questions there which we will forward to Steward Bank Diaspora Banking Unit, maybe they have a product that is similar to what you have described…

      However, the article is about collection of money remitted through the different traditional remittance services. Steward Bank is guaranteeing cash. Lately, some agents have been turning customers away because of lack of cash, Steward Bank is saying they won’t be doing that.

      Another thing is that Steward Bank is paying out for these different remittance partners such that you are free to choose which service works best for you as the person sending the money without having to worry if that particular service has a branch close to your relative. In other words you get to choose the most affordable or convenient service for you knowing that your relatives back home will still get the money through Steward Bank even if your chosen service has no branch close to them

  3. Rorbert Ndlovu

    This is very positive move to all in the diaspora whose relatives always struggle to access cash.

  4. Lee

    Mama Money is an alternative to Western Union, MoneyGram and Hello Paisa that is significantly cheaper and more cost effective. The cost is only 5% and school fees are paid directly to the school or can be collected via Ecocash, paid directly into a bank account or collected via CABS. It is simple to access Mama Money. Simply down load the Mama Money family app from the google play store, self register and send money home or pay school fees directly from South Africa.

    1. Anonymous

      It seems from their website they only put your money in mobile wallet or bank account which means it’s converted to bond notes

    2. Anonymous

      They also play the exchange rate game forcing you to pay in Rands and then converting the amount to USD at a skewed exchange rate before adding their fee. Total cost comes close to 6% assuming you have a Rand account. Things could be worse if you actually had a USD account in South Africa because then your money would be changed from USD to ZAR to USD.