Plas­tic money trans­ac­tions rise

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo

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

Dr John Man­gudya

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