NPS payments decline

HARARE - The value of transactions processed through the National Payments System (NPS) declined by five percent, to close the week ending February 23 2018 at $1, 628 billion according to the latest Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) Weekly Economic Highlights.

RBZ said the decline was mainly driven by a 1,7 percent decrease in the value of Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions, to $1,154 billion from $1,174 billion during the week ending February 16.

Most bank’s RTGS systems are clogged resulting in transactions taking up to three days to be cleared. Many Zimbabweans are relying on this mode of payment for virtually all transactions due to the persistent cash shortage.

The total volume of NPS transactions registered a 12 percent from 25 161 284 transactions recorded in the previous week to 22 171 092 during the week under review.

The proportions of NPS transactions in volume terms were, mobile 89,24 percent, point of sale, 9,94 percent, RTGS, 0,42 percent, automated teller machine, 0,38 percent and cheque 0,02 percent.

The distribution of NPS transactions in value terms was RTGS, 70,88 percent,  mobile, 22,54 percent, POS, 6.30 percent ATM, 0,22 percent and cheque 0,06 percent.

While mobile transactions have been embraced as an alternative payment option, concerns continue to be raised over the high electronic transaction charges.

Due to a cash crisis in Zimbabwe, most service providers in both the public and private sector have adopted mobile money as a means for processing payments placing the channel as the most common alternative for the country’s unbanked population and the nation’s significant informal sector. An acute shortage of bank notes in Zimbabwe has forced Zimbabweans to resort to electronic means of payment.

According to the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe’s mobile money now accounts for about 80 percent of total transactions in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile During the period under review, commercial bank weighted lending rates for individual clients stood at 9,57 percent, down from 9,58 percent recorded in the previous week. Weighted lending rates for corporate clients, however, remained unchanged at 6,93 percent, during the same week.
— Financial Gazette

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