The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said on yesterday it is targeting to increase uptake and usage of plastic money to 80 percent of transactions in the market from the current 20 percent in the next five years. Central bank governor, Dr John Mangudya told stakeholders at an International Monetary Fund (IMF) roundtable discussion on Zimbabwe’s economic reforms that the current high usage of cash in the economy promoted speculative behaviour.“Ours is a high cash economy meaning it is a highly speculative economy,” Dr Mangudya said.
He said cash usage currently accounted for 80 percent of transactions.
Dr Mangudya said the apex bank was working on strategies to increase the usage of plastic money.
Consumer bodies have, however, noted that it was currently expensive to transact using plastic money in the economy, thereby discouraging its use.
It costs up to $2 per transaction to swipe at point of sale machines in retail shops to settle a transaction.
Inefficient telecommunications platforms, on which use of plastic money is reliant has also been cited as a stumbling block as it increases the time one takes to settle a transaction.
As part of broader initiatives to limit usage of cash for speculative behaviour, the RBZ in January said bank clients were now required to give a day’s notice for transactions involving withdrawals of more than $10 000. — New Ziana.