Electronic transactions dominate national  payment system Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says the value of electronic transactions processed through the National Payment Systems (NPS) in the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2023, increased 33 percent to $112,15 trillion from $84,55 trillion recorded in the prior quarter ending September 30, 2023.

A national payment system is a configuration of institutions supported by an infrastructure of technology-driven processes and practices to facilitate commercial and financial transfers between buyers and sellers.

A country’s payment system reflects its banking and financial history and the development of supporting communications and technology platforms.

The RBZ in its fourth quarter 2023 NPS report said volumes increased by 18 percent to 198,17 million from 167,41 million during the period under review.

“Furthermore, the USD-RTGS values and volumes were 6,47 billion and 1,20 million, respectively,” said the RBZ.

The RBZ report shows that the value of transactions processed through the RTGS system increased by 28,23 percent from $54,51 trillion to $69,90 trillion during the fourth quarter under review, while the volume of transactions rose by 0,10 percent to 2,80 million during the fourth quarter of 2023.

The RBZ said the aggregate values of retail transactions increased by 40,67 percent from $30,04 trillion in September 2023 to $42,26 trillion during the quarter ending December 31, 2023.

During the quarter under review, retail volumes increased by 18,68 percent to 195,37 million.

The RBZ said the value of collateral for the cheque clearing, Zimswitch, and Central Securities Depository (CSD) settlement systems increased to $139,84 billion in the quarter under review from $98,12 billion recorded in the previous quarter.

“The increase was due to a 51 percent rise in Zimswitch collateral following the growth in the value of transactions,” the RBZ said.

The report noted that the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange Limited (VFEX) foreign currency collateral for the quarter ending December 2023 was US$24,251.47.

The RBZ said it remained stable and adequately covered the risk levels associated with the platform’s transactional activities.

During the quarter under review, the ordinary point of sale (POS) population increased to 137,988 from 137,380 in the previous quarter.

The RBZ said there were 8,80 million active mobile financial services subscribers registered in the period under review, an increase of 8,01 percent from 8,15 million recorded in the quarter ending September 2023.

The central bank said the figure includes banked subscribers in addition to mobile money users.

Government and the central bank have been promoting usage of plastic money as part of efforts to ease demand for physical cash. —Business Weekly

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