Electronic transactions hit $1bn

HARARE - Electronic transactions processed through the national payment system increased from $962 million to $1,1 billion in the week ending October 24, 2014, latest Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) statistics revealed.

This is the second time the e-based transactions have surpassed $1 billion this year.

In its weekly economic report released yesterday, the central bank said real time gross settlement system (RGTS) processed transactions dominated the payment system in value terms, amounting to $915 million.

“This compares with the $813 million recorded in the previous week. RTGS payments accounted for 85,4 percent of the total value of transactions processed through the payment system,” said the central bank.

In volume terms, mobile-based transactions accounted for 88,7 percent of total transactions, followed by point of sale transactions 5,2 percent, automated teller machines 4,9 percent and RTGS 1,0 percent.

This comes as money supply growth has been steadily increasing in the southern African country following a successful tobacco farming season where over $660 million was earned by farmers.

Statistics from the central bank show that annual growth in broad money increased further to 13,9 percent in August 2014.

Broad money stood at $4,3 billion in August 2014, up from $3,8 billion in August 2013. On a monthly basis, broad money registered a 2,3 percent growth.

“The annual growth in broad money was underpinned by an increase in long term, savings and demand deposits of $315,1 million, $129,2 million and $109,2 million, respectively,” said the central bank adding that these increases were, however, partially offset by a $27,6 million decline in short term deposits.

“Against the background of an increase in deposits, annual growth in domestic credit rose to 6,2 percent, largely reflecting an 86,9 percent increase in net credit to government.

“Underpinning the increase in net credit to government were Treasury Bills holdings by commercial and merchant banks, which increased by 113,1 percent to $237,5 million, between August 2013 and August 2014,” said the RBZ.

By August this year, credit to the private sector continued to be driven by loans and advances, which were partly sustained by offshore lines of credit, as local sources of liquidity remained constrained.

Lending to the private sector by banks declined to $3,1 billion in August 2014, from $3,2 billion in August last year.

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