By Tinashe Makichi
Increased use of plastic money in transacting propelled the value of transactions through point of sale terminals beyond $1 billion in the four months to April 2017, statistics from ZimSwitch show.
According to the payments services company figures, there has been exponential increase in the value of POS transactions since the beginning of this year, with the month of January recording $241 million, February $232 million, March $289 million and April $329 million.
POS transactions for the period under review totalled 31 878 339 while Automated Teller Machines transactions for the period stood at 8 000.
Statistics show that the value of ATM transactions for the period was $336 556, as there was limited movement due to the prevailing cash challenges.
A lot of people during the people ended up using POS machines to avoid spending time in long queues in efforts to access cash from ATM's. The machines were mainly used by consumers for balance inquiries.
Mobile transactions for January to April totaled 760 390 while the value stood at $174 million. This comes at a time when mobile services companies have accelerated their reach in terms of mobile money services.
Internet transactions came in at 822 with a value of $49 635.45. The period under review saw more consumers moving towards use of internet platforms in making payments such as Paynet among others options.
Recently ZimSwitch said that the average POS growth in terms of volume was at 12,76 percent. ZimSwitch said usage of ATMs had, however, declined due to the cash shortages, but the company had seen growth in ZIPIT transactions, which enables real time fund transfers.
Zimbabwe had 154 active ATMs at the end of 2016. ZimSwitch is the sole national electronic funds switch and clearing house for Zimbabwe. The company process domestic card based (ATM and POS) and EFT transactions amongst member financial institutions in real time online.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu recently told this publication that there has been overwhelming adoption of plastic money in Zimbabwe.
"Indeed all registered retailers around towns and cities are using POS machines except for those in the rural areas where there are network and power supply issues.
"Instead those who have embraced mobile money we have seen a tremendous rise in transactions attributable to plastic and mobile money.