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Plastic Money: Zim Targets 100K POS Machines by 2020

Harare - Zimbabwe is on course to reach the 100 000 mark for Point of Sale (POS) machines, with an increase of 95 percent in electronic tra...

Harare - Zimbabwe is on course to reach the 100 000 mark for Point of Sale (POS) machines, with an increase of 95 percent in electronic transactions within retail traders, according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). 

“We are on course to obliterating our 2020 POS machines target of around 100 000 given the increased uptake of transacting machines by retailers and individual dealers,” said RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya.

By end of 2017, POS machines increased 20 percent to 70 000 from 56 000 units. 

“We are very happy with the phenomenal increase of the POS machines to 70 000 to date from around 56 000 at year end last year.

Since 2016, Zimbabwe has experienced a crunch cash crisis, resulting unscrupulous money dealers selling cash for a premium. 
POS Machines

Figures show many people have embraced the use of plastic money. 

“Of the 371 million transactions carried out in the first quarter of 2018, 368 million transactions were POS and mobile payment transactions. This indicates that 95 percent of our traders have now embraced plastic money, which is what we wanted when we launched this initiative.,” said Dr Mangudya.

Mobile money transaction costs have recently been pushed up by unscrupulous dealers who sell cash at a premium of 20 percent or more.

EcoCash, which controls over 90 percent of mobile money transactions, has challenged customers to report unscrupulous dealers so that corrective action is taken.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu, said although retailers applauded the set POS target, there was latitude to also reach people in the rural areas.

“At first we were doubting that the 100 000 target can be reached, but with the pace that the central bank has been availing the POS machines the target is within the reach. These would be enough to cover even the remotest of areas where people still walk tens of kilometres to access money,” said Mr Mutashu.

The rampant use of plastic money has been lauded as a foreign currency saver by finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa in 2017.  

“Embracing plastic money preserves foreign exchange, for use for foreign payments whilst at the same time mitigating against non-banking of cash by traders.”

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