The cash crisis don’t seem to be getting better amid very serious technicalities at the Reserve Bank, the government itself and their international counterparts who hold the direct commands on the supply of the USD$. As a counter measure, the Zimbabwean government will help the RBZ and its responsible stakeholders to mobilize resources to be channeled towards the importation of more POS machines into the local banking sector.
By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi
Zimbabwe’s banking industry has begun the process of importing more point of sale (POS) machines to reduce reliance on cash by the transacting public in line with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) measures to promote the use of plastic money.
Officials in the financial services industry confirmed to TechnoMag on Monday that bankers agreed last week to import more POS machines to reduce reliance on cash transactions in light of the current liquidity challenges.
One of the officials at the Bankers Association of Zim said the use of plastic money in the form of credit, debit and pre-paid cards is important because it is convenient and less risky than cash transactions.
Technology driven banks such as Steward Bank may have foresaw the karma back in 2012 when they began the e-commerce banking movement which saw them integrating Ecocash into their banking platforms, a move which allows customers to conveniently switch their funds from bank accounts direct into Ecocash wallets.
Ecocash stands to be Zimbabwe’s only mobile money banking platform which is standing against the test of times, with subscribers still enjoying the convenience of paying Merchants, Buying Airtime, Cashing & Out on Agents, Buying groceries among many other advantages rendered on Ecocash services.
Research carried out by a private financial consulting firm revealed that about 70% of transactions by the rural population are through cash. However, the current cash crisis have not spared anyone and even the same rural residents are being deprived of cash withdrawals like everyone else in the city.
However, an economic commentator, Mr Tapera Chikandiwa said the reduction by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on electronic and other transaction charges, is a reflection of commitment and confidence that non-cash transactions will ease the liquidity challenges.
“There is no other way to solve the cash challenges than opting for the use of the plastic money, and this is critical on economic development,” Mr Chikandiwa said.
In several parts of the world, plastic money is widely used, with South Africa and Kenya having achieved major successes. The RBZ is targeting to achieve 80 percent use of plastic money in five years.
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