Zimbabwe: RBZ wants cashless transactions to represent 80% of transactions

Mar 14, 2016

They currently account for 20 percent of all transactions.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said on Thursday (March 10th) that it wants to see cashless transactions account for 80 percent of all transactions by 2021. Currently, they only represent 20 percent of transactions.

Central bank governor John Mangudya told stakeholders at an International Monetary Fund roundtable discussion that the current high usage of cash in the economy promoted speculative behaviour.

He said the central bank was working on strategies to increase the use of electronic transactions, although some challenges remain, such as high fees, which can amount up to $2 per transaction at point of sale machines in retail shops, the Herald reports.

Inefficient telecommunications platforms are also considered a stumbling block as it increases the time one takes to settle a transaction.

Mobile banking is fast developing and is seen as an efficient way to boost electronic payments. Since 2009, it is bringing banking services in previously unreached areas, through platforms such as EcoCash, TeleCash, One Wallet and NettCash.

The number of mobile money subscribers increased by 9.4 per cent to reach 5,8 million, up from 5,3 million subscribers recorded at the end of 2014. In addition, the number of agents increased from 23 379 to 25 427.

The volume of money transfers through mobile phones in Zimbabwe increased by 80 per cent in 2014. Mobile phone penetration is at a record level of 90.3 per cent.