RTGS Transactions On The Rise

REAL Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions are on the rise owing to improved adoption of plastic money transaction by depositors in the face of the prevailing cash crisis.

Presenting the Mid-Term Monetray Policy statement, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Govenor John Mangudya said a total of 2.5 million transactions valued at
US$27.4 billion were settled through the RTGS system this year.

Transactions handled through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) continued to grow as shown below. A cumulative total of 2.5 million transactions valued at US$27.4 billion were settled through the RTGS system from 3 January to 30 June 2017 accounting for just above 70% of total transactions in the economy,” said Mangudya.

Zimbabwe has seen more people transacting using plastic money or transfer methods lately owing to increased cash shortages which have seen most people spending long hours in bank queues. Nearly everything in Zimbabwe is priced in U.S. dollars, although the absence of cash means nearly all transactions, including payment of state wages, are electronic, either via domestic payment cards or mobile phones.

Mangudya added that Retail payment streams remained the cornerstone of financial accessibility by the majority of the transacting public. This is evidenced by an upward trend of retail payment systems values and volumes during the first half of 2017.

Meanwhile, Mangudya said the central bank will soon be injecting an additional $300 million worth of bond notes in an effort to ease biting cash shortages.

Zimbabwe is more than doubling its issuance of “bond notes”, a domestic quasi-currency, to $500 million.

The RBZ introduced the bond notes in November, initially printing $200 million worth, as an antidote to the cash shortages. On Wednesday, RBZ governor John Mangudya said the bank would inject an additional $300 million into circulation.

The bond notes have been trading at a discount to their official 1:1 face value to the dollar since they were launched but have not collapsed in value as some had feared, largely because they too have been in scarce supply.

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