Of Swipe Machines and Small Businesses

Small to Medium Scale retailers are embracing plastic money as cash shortages persist.

According to a survey by Technomag,  about a quarter of electrical shops, gadget shops and boutiques to mention but a few have adopted the swiping facility moving away from the traditional way of doing business.

By Mirriam Kunjanja 

“Our sales have improved quite a lot since we started swiping because we have taken the burden from our clients, the burden of cash hunting from our clients, so if they need to replace their old  phone all they just do is come in our shop and swipe” said one shop attendant who preferred anonymity,” said  a shop attendant in Kwame Mall.

Another shop attendant said the swiping facility is increasing her sales since they get  some extra money from the commission  we charge those who don’t have the technology.

Harare Main Post Office where some of these shops are found

The challenges faced by the shop owners force them to opt for cash buying in the streets where blackmarket guys charge from 12% to 20% for giving you cash in exchange for ZIPIT and or EcoCash transfers. The rate also differs depending on the currency required by one in need of cash, if its bond notes one gets 100bond after a transfer of $115 ZIPIT or EcoCash

The same cash buying and selling process is repeated if the one in need of cash has bond notes and wants USD or Rand but either way, the process shows that bond notes are weaker. You can sell your US$100 and get 107bond and vice versa if you want USD whilst you are holding bond you pay more

Most retailers prefer swipe machines to mobile money for reasons best known to them and some of them asks you to pay more than what’s on the price tag of the item saying they will do likewise when they want to cash out

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