The National Payment System has registered more than 170 percent jump in the volumes of payments made through Point of Sale (POS) machines as the use of plastic money in Zimbabwe continues to grow due to liquidity shortages that have characterized the economy over the past two years.
According to the latest weekly economic update by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the total volume of NPS transactions registered a 32 percent increase to 29 318 308 during the week ending March 2, 2018, from 22 171 092 transactions recorded in the previous week.
The rise was driven by the 177 percent jump in the number of POS transactions to 6 107 069 in the review period from 2 203 306.
Resultantly, the value of transactions paid through POS machines was 101 percent higher at $206, 34 million from $102, 62 million recorded in the prior period.
RTGS transactions, which account for the biggest chunk of payments on the NPS registered a 7,4 percent increase from $1, 15 billion in the previous week to $1, 23 billion, during the review period.
These payments accounted for 64,11 percent of the total value of transactions processed through the NPS. There was a 57 percent rise in the volumes of transactions processed through the RTGS from 93 308 in the prior period to 146 783.
The prevailing cash shortages have seen more Zimbabweans opting to use the RTGS as the main mode of payment but this has however resulted in the clogging of the systems resulting in transfers taking a very long time to process.
As a result of the slow movement of bank transfers, more people now prefer to use mobile banking platforms to make payments.
The central bank report noted that in the week under review, mobile transactions registered a 32 percent increase after transactions valued at $483,22 million were registered in the review period, up from $367,18 million in the previous week.
Mobile transactions also recorded a 16 percent increase in volumes by to 22 981 881 from 19 786 137 in the week under review. Mobile platforms command the biggest chunk of volumes on the NPS at 78,39 percent.
Owing to the cash shortages being experienced in the country’s banks, ATM transactions have declined significantly. In the period under review, there was an 8 percent slump in volumes of transactions processed through ATMs to 76 993 from 83 445 in the prior week.
There was a corresponding decline in value of transactions made through ATMs from $3,54 million to $3, 38 million in the review period.
Cheque payments remained the least favoured method of payment with a total of $1,03 million processed in the week under review, up from $0,94 million in the previous week.