The Zimbabwean government is putting together funds for the importation of more Point of Sale (POS) machines which will be used to promote plastic money use and cashless transactions across the country.
According to the Herald, this information was shared by the Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa who pointed out how POS machines have to be imported which creates challenges.
Chinamasa highlighted how there aren’t enough POS machines to service all parts of the country which are part of a list of measures that the government, through the Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been promoting to deal with the country’s cash shortage.
For the past year, a cash crisis in Zimbabwe has made it difficult to access cash from banks and other retail financial service institutions. This has prompted the aggressive promotion of cash alternatives that include plastic money and mobile money services like EcoCash and Telecash.
Bond notes, a local currency with a value equivalent to the United States Dollar were also introduced to mitigate the challenges. Some banks hire out their POS machines to providers who need to maintain the flow of business with clients that only have plastic money.
Recent figures provided by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) after the festive season put the number of POS machines in the country at 29,000 which is a jump from the 20,000 registered in July 2016.
Local bankers have in the past complained about the steep duties and taxes charged on financial services hardware including POS machines, a situation which delayed the rollout of the necessary infrastructure like POS facilities.