THE volumes of point of sale (POS) monetary transactions grew by 17% to 913 917 in the week ending June 24 from the previous week, as the cash shortages spur plastic money transactions, latest statistics from the central bank have shown.
Source: POS transactions surge 17% – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 7, 2016
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
In the previous week, the volume of POS transactions was 784 403.
According to an economic review by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the total volume of the national payment systems (NPS) decreased to 5,8 million from 5,98 million from the previous week.
The decrease was owing to the reduction in the volumes of mobile payment transactions by 6% to 4,62 million, compared to the uptick in POS payments.
“The total volume of NPS transactions decreased from 5 982 177 in the previous week to 5 800 387 during the week under review. Mobile transactions constituted 79,76% of the total volume of NPS transactions, POS 15,76%, ATM [automated teller machines] 3,37%, real time gross settlement 0,99% and cheque 0,13%,” RBZ said in the report.
The value of POS transactions also grew by 3% to $69,95 million from a prior week of $68,02 million.
POS transactions are made through using plastic cards issued from banks, which include VISA, MasterCard or locally-issued bank cards, ZimSwitch included.
POS payments have been on an upward trend since March when the central bank governor John Mangudya stated that the lender of last resort would be aiming to have an 80% cashless society by 2020.
Last month, RBZ reduced bank charges on electronic transactions which resulted in electronic fund transfers attracting charges of between $0,33 to a maximum of $2,10 in an ambitious drive to promote plastic money transactions.
The use of plastic money was one of government’s solutions to address the current cash shortages in the country by decongesting the banking halls.
The cash shortages have seen most banks putting daily caps of $100 on withdrawals, with monetary authorities aggressively pushing for the use of plastic money to ease the demand for cash.
Retailers have reported an over 50% increase in the use of plastic money in their stores since the cash shortages started at the beginning of the year.