Zimbabweans have embraced electronic platforms as a means of transacting with 96 percent of transactions now being conducted electronically.
According to Finance and Economic Development Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe has overtaken countries such as Kenya in terms of the number of transactions that are transacted electronically and through RTGS as well as through mobile.
Cde Chinamasa has said both developed and developing countries are moving towards a cashless society.
He said the positive impact of the cash shortages being experienced in Zimbabwe is that it has expedited the movement of the country towards a cashless society to the extent that 96 percent of the $97 billion transacted, were done through electronic platforms.
The Minister said there were 70 000 point of sale machines (POS) in the country at the moment and plans were underway to increase the figure to 120 000. The big challenge that remains is to restore confidence in the banking sector.
Many Zimbabweans including a number of companies are not banking cash hence the persistent cash shortages.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya said under normal circumstances, the $800 million in circulation is adequate to meet the nation’s cash demands but hoarders were causing shortages.
“The biggest challenge we have is poor circulation of money. Zimbabweans are looking at foreign currency as a store of value and not something that they should circulate,” said Dr Mangudya.
Cde Chinamasa has also said the culture of “Withdrawing money to put it under the pillow” made it difficult to overcome cash shortages.
Dr Mangudya said the RBZ has put in place measures to minimise bank queues in the next two months.
He said the central bank had between January and last week imported $400 million to address cash shortages and expected availability of cash to be boosted by earnings from tobacco and gold.
Dr Mangudya said the country would soon witness an increased supply of cash on the market as a result of tobacco and gold sales as well as increased supply from the country’s lines of credit.
We want to commend the transacting public for embracing the use of plastic money which has gone a long way in alleviating the cash shortages in the country. What the transacting public and businesses should do now is to complement the use of plastic money by banking whatever cash they have.
Keeping money in the bank does not only ensure good circulation of cash but is also safe for both individuals and companies. This culture of hoarding cash has many negatives and as such should not be encouraged.
Let us all complement the RBZ efforts to improve liquidity in the economy by embracing the culture of banking cash so that it circulates.