The value of transactions processed through point of terminals grew 23 percent in December to $550 million from $446 million in November as Zimbabweans continue to increase their usage of plastic money.
Data availed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe shows that the volumes also increased 47 percent to 14,3 million from 9,7 million in November
RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya told The Herald Business that the uptake of plastic money has been encouraging as it is an effective way of dealing with the liquidity crisis and ultimately reducing the bank queues.
“We are encouraged by the growth in the use of plastic money as it ultimately lowers the cash handling costs for banks and at the same time bring convenience to the transacting public. This, as you recall, was one of the major goals of the Financial Inclusion Strategy the RBZ is pursuing.”
The number of POS machines doubled to 32 540 in December against 16 300 in the comparable year ago period.
The machines have also risen significantly from the May total of 18 260 when the central bank announced the use of plastic money as one of the measures that would be used to deal with the prevailing cash crisis.
Payments solution Zimswitch said 52 percent of POS terminals were in Harare, followed by Bulawayo at 11 percent, Mutare 4 percent, Gweru 3 percent and Victoria Falls 2 percent.
Zimswitch Finance and Business manager Zebron Chilakalaka told this publication that in tandem with the distribution of terminals Harare remains the most dominant in terms of usage at 53 percent.
According to Zimswitch the average POS growth in terms of volume was at 12,76 percent.
Mr Chilakalaka said that the usage of ATM channels had, however, declined due to the current cash shortages but the company had seen growth in ZIPit which is a platform which enables real time fund transfers. The country had 154 active ATMs at the end of the year.