Mangudya reaches out to retailers

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya on Friday met retailers where he told them of plans to make point-of-sale machines (POS) mandatory in all retail outlets and tuckshops as a solution to ease the cash shortages.

Source: Mangudya reaches out to retailers – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 15, 2016


The move comes as the economy is facing cash shortages, with banks placing caps on withdrawals.

The meeting was held at RBZ offices with sources telling NewsDay yesterday that Mangudya agreed to set up a retailer’s desk to address the challenges of the sector.

“The governor also agreed to expedite the installation of POS machines across the retail sector including informal retailers and tuck shops. The governor also agreed to work with banks to reduce the time it takes to transfer money to beneficiary retailers accounts after a POS transaction,” the source said.

During the private meetings, retailers expressed concern with the time it took to process purchases which were made using local, VISA and Master cards.

On average, using these methods of payment, it takes three to 14 days for banks to process money to retailers, during which the latter are inconvenienced in doing business, sources say.

In response, Mangudya said he would get banks to reduce the time to 48 hours to improve the transactions through plastic money.

The sources said some of the retailers present included Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, N Richards, Food Lovers, Fabs, Spar Zimbabwe, Coloursell and Magic Moments Gokwe.

Mangudya also promised to look into reducing other costs such as import permits and licence charges.

Though the meeting was mainly about Mangudya outlining how the central bank would support retailers, the latter also made some promises of their own.

“The retailers also re-affirmed their commitment to support local industry through store level deliberate procurement policies.

Retailers committed to expand their supplier development programmes as a way of assisting in capacitating local industry. They agreed to accept the bond notes,” the source said.

Bond notes will be introduced in October as part of a 5% export incentive under a $200 million facility guaranteed by the African Export-Import Bank.

Economist Tony Hawkins said by advocating the use of POS machines, government had failed to deal with the problem, opting to address the symptoms.

“When you talk to people about POS machines, the problem that is hitting them is that there is a long delay in processing their cards at times. The second point is that this government is only keen on tackling symptoms and not causes. In those causes, the only thing they talk about is the deficit, and how to tackle it by cutting imports which is the only thing they know how to do, more controls,” he said.

“Therefore, I think until you start tackling causes, all these solutions to the symptoms may have a marginal impact, but in the meantime, the residual mistrust is there, with people asking why I must not use cash.”

Mangudya had by yesterday not responded to questions sent by NewsDay on Monday.


  • comment-avatar

    These bank transfers are done with “Virtual Money”, not real cash it is fraud and one day soon the transfers will have to stop and the banks will close.