Volume of financial transactions dips amid cash woes, RBZ data shows

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HARARE: The total volume of transactions recorded in Zimbabwe’s National Payment System (NPS) declined marginally to 7,838,439 in the week ended November 4 from 7,952,480 in the previous week, a recent weekly report by the central bank shows.
However,mobile payments and point-of-sale transactions continued to surge, reflecting a deepening shortage of bank notes,which has seen an increase in alternative settling methods.
“The total value of transactions processed through the National Payment Systems (NPS), decreased from US$1,371.80 million in the previous week, to US$ 1,312.16 million during the week under review,” the RBZ noted in the report.
According to the central bank’s weekly economic highlights, in the first week of November, banking transactions processed through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system stood at US$1,060.66 million – a nine percent decline from the US$1,171.73 million recorded in the previous week.
Cheque transactions also went down four percent to $1,53 million from $1,60 million in the previous week.
However, mobile transactions increased by 15 percent to $115,74 million from $100,31 million while Automated Teller machines (ATMs) transactions surged 38 percent from $20,48 million to $28,35 million in the week under review.
Point of Sale (POS) transactions also grew significantly by 36 percent from $77,68 million to $105,89 million in the period under review.
The growth in transactions carried through POS and mobile platforms is largely driven by the current central bank efforts to promote the use of electronic means of payment in order to conserve the scarce dollar.
Interest rates for all classes of deposits remained unchanged as the bittering liquidity crunch continues to prevail in the money market.
“During the week ending 4th November 2016, average deposit rates for savings deposits and deposits of 3 month tenors remained unchanged at 3.01 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively”, the reserve bank also noted.
“Commercial bank weighted lending rates for corporate clients increased from 6.93 percent in the previous week, to 6.97 percent during the week under review. Weighted lending rates for individual clients, however, declined to close the week under analysis at 10.67 percent.”Advertisement