The absence of point of sale machines (POS) in most retail outlets, poor telecommunication connectivity and lack of electricity in some parts of rural areas, have been cited as major impediments to the use of plastic money in Matabeleland South province.

This came out during a Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) plastic money campaign workshop held in Gwanda recently.

With most Zimbabweans continuing to spend a lot of productive time queuing for cash at banks, the CZR and RBZ met stakeholders in Gwanda recently to advocate for increased use of plastic money given the current liquidity challenges.

CZR President, Mr Denford Mutashu reiterated the need for Zimbabweans to move away from a culture of carrying hard cash and embrace the use of plastic and mobile money.

Participants from both urban and rural Gwanda conceded that while plastic money is the way to go given the liquidity crisis, most retail outlets did not have point of sale machines, while poor telecommunication connectivity was another challenge that needed to be addressed with expediency.

The central bank is working towards ensuring that point of sale machines are accessible with the target being 100 000 by 2020.

As of January 2016, 35454 point of sale machines had been distributed throughout the country.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the banking sector, the business community, Gwanda municipality, informal traders, local residents as well as miners and farmers.