The retail sector has recorded a 70% increase on electronic transactions in this month as many consumers migrate to the use plastic money in the cash strapped Zimbabwe.
According to Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president, Denford Mutashu in the Chronicle, a local newspaper, the 70% increase was facilitated by an increase in the deployment of Point Of Sales which are at more than 3600 around the country.
“The rise in the use of electronic transactions is encouraging to to the retail sector. It is a testimony of growing confidence on the use of plastic and mobile money across the economy” Mutashu noted.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) deputy Governor Dr Kupukile Mlambo encouraged the use of plastic money to easy the cash crunch in the country.
However, the executive director of Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, Rosemary Siyachitema noted some problems on the use of plastic money and electronic transactions in the country.
Siyachitema said that the charges of swipe cards are still very high in Zimbabwe during the International Retailers Indaba in Harare last month.
She expressed that consumers are suffering because there are no swiping machines in the rural areas.
The swiping machines for transactions need a source of power to operate. This makes them not idle in the rural areas where electricity is still a challenge.
Network, which is also a problem in the rural Zimbabwe, is also needed for the transactions is also needed for the transactions to work. Sometimes network can go down even in urban areas making it more harder for the transactions to proceed and resulting into more inconveniences.
Most of those in the transport sector especially in the commuter omnibuses operators do not accept electronic transactions because they are not conducive for their environment, which is rigid and full of hassles.
The use of plastic money in Zimbabwe will not help in easing the cash crunch when people in the rural areas do not have access to the POS machines. More than 60 of the people in bank queues are rural folk. The majority of them being the farmers.