RBZ wants 50 percent more POS machines

Source: RBZ wants 50 percent more POS machines | The Herald August 5, 2016

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says it is targeting to boost the number of Point-of-Sale (POS) machines in the country by 50 percent by year-end. Zimbabwe currently has 20 000 POS machines in operation, but these have shown to be inadequate due to the prevailing cash challenges. According to the director for national payments at the central bank Josephat Mutepfa, the need to increase the number of POS machines has also been necessitated by unlikelihood that the country’s automated teller machines (ATM) population will rise exponentially because of high costs.“The ATM population might not grow much because ATMs are expensive to install . . . and in this market they talk to cash (which is currently limited),” he said.

“The POS population has grown. Actually we had 4 000 POS machines in 2009 and we had reached 17 000 POS machines as of June 2016. In terms of current figures we should be between 19 000 and 20 000 as of last week. We have a target of 30 000 POS machines by year-end. It’s a daunting target but we are confident we can achieve it. Comparatively in Zambia they have between 5 000 and 7 000 POS machines.”

Mr Mutepfa added that the central bank has noted a steady growth in POS machines largely attributable to the financial services sector.

“On a monthly basis since the beginning of the year, POS machines have been steadily growing due efforts by the banks,” he said.

In January the total population stood at 16 500, and we have noted a steady and consistent growth to 20 000 presently.”

The RBZ has been pushing for the use of electronic payment systems and plastic money to drive financial inclusion and for an eventual drive towards a cashless economy. And latest figures from the central bank show that the value of transactions processed through the country’s National Payment System (NPS) increased 6 percent to $6, 48 billion in May from $6, 13 billion recorded in the previous month.

This growth was largely on the back of increased use of the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system. The statistics show that transactions processed through RTGS increased by 8,6 percent to $3,86 billion in May from $3,56 billion in April.

On the other hand, the total value of mobile and internet based transactions registered a 12 percent increase to $479,93 million.

According to Mr Mutepfa, with the advent of mobile money platforms, Zimbabwe’s level of financial inclusion currently stands at 69 percent. — BH24.