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Government directs all its departments to introduce POS payments, leaves out more relevant mobile money options

The Zimbabwean government has directed all public institutions including State-owned enterprises and local authorities to introduce electronic Point of Sale terminals by the 1st of July 2016.

This is expected to ease the challenges being faced with the current cash crisis that has gripped the country.

It also follows the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s announcement on the reduction of bank charges that have lowered the cost of POS transactions to between 10 cents and 45 cents per transaction.

The directive is a bit of a no-brainer and long overdue, something that is clear with the way some authorities like the City of Harare and the City of Gweru, as well as some government services have already introduced POS terminals to ensure service continuity.

At the same time, the directive doesn’t seem to cater for the realities of the market. The RBZ in its latest monetary policy highlighted how POS transactions only accounted for 5.64% of transactional volumes.

With a largely informal economy, mobile money services, which handle the majority of transactions(88%) should be the alternative that all departments are forced to adopt.

It should be noted, though, that for that adoption to work, it would have to be for all service providers, including the dominant private services like EcoCash, and not just the State-owned OneWallet which is the least relevant mobile money service.

That move was tried for ZESA prepaid tokens and it doesn’t look like it has helped anyone, including NetOne’s OneWallet.

The government should issue directives that genuinely solve problems and address the reality of any situation. Right now the reality is that mobile money is more relevant than cards.

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9 thoughts on “Government directs all its departments to introduce POS payments, leaves out more relevant mobile money options

  1. well this move is meant to make sure that cash goes into formal channels like banks,a lot of people will be forced to open bank accounts which means it might lessen the cash crisis in the end.Mobile money cannot create a virtual cashless society because on one end i need to give cash to the agent and on the other end someone has to collect that cash but with banks its possible that the government deposits money into my account then swipe that money and pay my bills or even pay at wherever there is a POS.

    1. Very true. Mobile money relies heavily on cash. Why top up your wallet with cash, to go and pay your bill with EcoCash? Makes no sense.

      1. E-wallets are topped up directly from the bank Imi vanhu Musadaro, e-wallets like Ecocah can be linked with your bank, hence one can transfer from bank to wallet or vice versa, saka TECHZIM is right

    2. While the use of POS is a step in the right direction, it is being done for the wrong reasons. Every merchant who accepts payment via POS or any form of bank transfer is effectively exchanging his goods or services for a share of the rbz I owe you notes (an electronic version of bond notes). Kutamba chisveru kkkk.

  2. true mobile is unfortunately reliant on cash on some level. telecel had a bit right with telecash card and econet needs to improve the useability of its MasterCard locally anyway

  3. The government have always been slow to react to realities. In most countries, gvt leads, people follow, but here in Zim people leads goverment follow. In trying to catch up with people, our government end up making and implementing rushed through laws which is not the properly way to govern situations.

  4. At Parirenyatwa Hospitals P.O.S have been in place since 2013 and mobile money (Ecocash) has been in place since 2013 so directive or no directive Government Departments must adapt to changing technology.

  5. Govt departments adopting POS should also include ZRP Traffic section

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