Plastic money transactions rise

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) says plastic money transactions in the retail sector has increased by 70 percent following calls by monetary authorities on the transacting public to increase electronic money usage.

Zimbabwe has been hit by cash shortages in the past few months due to externalisation of foreign currency and the widening trade deficit. As a result, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has come up with a raft of measures aimed at minimising the crisis. The measures include promotion of usage of plastic money (use of bank cards and other electronic payments) by the transacting public, reduction in electronic transaction costs as well as imposition of daily cash withdrawal limits.

The RBZ has also encouraged businesses to increase the installation of point of sale (POS) machines to promote the use of plastic money.

CZR president Mr Denford Mutashu said a number of retailers have recorded a significant uptake in the use of plastic money, with the use of electronic cards rising from about three percent to about 55 percent in various retail shops.

He said the retail sector has recorded a further increase in the use of electronic transactions and this would go a long way in easing the demand for hard cash.

“Seventy percent of all daily sales nationwide are attributed to point of sale machines (POS), and we’re now moving to implement the use of POS machines at the level of tuck shops to reduce queues and the demand for cash,” he said.

He said the uptake of plastic money had been helped by the use of POS machines by Government departments, which are major business transaction drivers.

Last month, RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya announced that electronic payments had jumped to $5,5 billion as the country responded to policy measures meant to ease the prevailing cash crisis. — @BiancaMlilo

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