Zimbabwe is a country that is going under economic challenges despite political changes that have taken place recently. The country has seen a continued regime of queues on banks with many now using mobile money and swiping cards on transactions. Transport systems in Zimbabwe have however remained in their tradition of cash transactions despite that cash is a problem in the country. The following is a commentary on why the transport sector needs to also include mobile money and swipes on transacting.
With the current cash crunch in Zimbabwe, there is a need for the transport sector to include mobile and plastic money as the ordinary citizens are finding it hard to get the cash. Zimbabweans are now buying cash on the black market as banks are not having cash. To get cash on the black market one has to pay an extra 20 percent resulting people getting into costs not budgeted for.
Use of mobile money is increasing in Zimbabwe. According to a Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) report the use of mobile money is increasing with 3,251,784 active subscriptions recorded last year. Ordinary citizens are using the mobile money on money transactions hence there is a need for transport operators including the commuter omnibus operators (combis) to join the train.
Use of plastic money is also on the rise in Zimbabwe. Queues of plastic money users on retail outlets are seemingly longer than queues for cash transactions. This may be due to the slow network but in most one is likely to find cash tills with less to no users. The implication of this is that people are using plastic money more than cash on transacting in Zimbabwe. Transactions have to be added to combs which are generally being used by people too and from their businesses every day.
Although there seem to be advantages of introducing plastic and mobile money on transport system there is a problem of network. Zimbabwe is still having some network challenges that can slow the speed down. Some transactions are sometimes canceled due to lack of network. Some places around Zimbabwe do not have the network for plastic and mobile money.
The comb business in Zimbabwe is a highly hash hassling type where sometimes there is no time for using swiping machines or mobile money. Short distances associated with combis do not click well with the slow internet in Zimbabwe. This makes it hard for the transport sector to use plastic and mobile money.
All in all mobile and plastic money is being used mostly in Zimbabwe. There is no sign that change is on the way in the near future when it comes to solving the cash crunch. It is, therefore, about time the transport sector starts embracing the use of mobile and plastic money.