NPS transactions hit $3bn

HARARE - Transactions processed through the National Payment System hit $3,16 billion for the week ending August 31, due to an increase in Real Time Gross Settlement, latest data show.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the value of transactions processed through the RTGS system increased by 16,1 percent, to close the week under review at $2 billion.

“The total value of transactions processed through the NPS was distributed as follows, RTGS, 63,84 percent; mobile, 26,57 percent; Point of Sale (POS), 9,43 percent; Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), 0,13 percent; and cheque transactions, 0,02 percent.

“In volume terms, NPS transactions registered a 10 percent increase, from 42,65 million in the previous week to 46,92 million transactions,” the central bank said in its weekly update.

Mobile-based transactions accounted for 82,69 percent of the total volume of transactions followed by POS, 16,76 percent; RTGS, 0,34 percent; ATM, 0,20 percent; and cheque 0,01 percent.

Due to a cash crisis in Zimbabwe, the use of alternative methods to cash transactions, mainly mobile money and POS, has increased significantly over the past three years. Mobile money now accounts for about 80 percent of total transactions carried out in the country.

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe’s latest report indicates that there was a marked increase in mobile money transactions as locals resorted to electronic modes of payment due to a crippling bank note shortage.

Most service providers in both the public and private sectors have adopted mobile money as a means for processing payments, placing the channel as the most common alternative for the country’s unbanked population, largely dominated by the informal sector.

Meanwhile, during the period under review, commercial bank weighted lending rates for individual clients increased by 0,34 percentage points to 9,87 percent, during the week under review, from a weekly average of 9,53 percent registered in the previous week. ending rates for corporate clients, however, declined from 7,15 percent in the previous week, to close the week under analysis at 7,10 percent.

Average deposit rates for savings deposits increased to 4,22 percent, from 4,10 percent recorded in the previous week. Deposit rates for deposits of one month and three month tenor, however, closed the week under review lower at 3,51 percent and 3,95 percent.

— Financial Gazette

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