retailers.jpgRetailers have engaged banks to solve a standoff over rand denominated coins in a move expected to ease problems affecting consumers in transactions involving change.

Barely six months after banks revealed that they had secured rand coins worth at least six million, retailers are in consultations with local financial institutions on how they can solve an impasse which has resulted in the retail outlets refusing to access the rand coins, citing huge transaction costs due to the exchange rate differences between the South African rand and the US dollar.

While the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe has also announced in a statement that negotiations to ensure that the disbursement of coins in the retail outlets will be completed in the next few weeks, it has emerged that retailers are calling upon the financial sector to  come up with a favourable exchange rate.

Members of the retail industry said that while they acknowledge that consumers are being ripped off through being offered some items as change due to shortages of coins, the availability of coins depend on a win-win agreement between retailers and banks.

“We are really committed to the provision of change and this is something that we hope can be solved in the future for the benefit of both industry and households,” said one retailer.

The Business Council of Zimbabwe Acting Secretary General, Mr. John Mufukare said retailers and banks should step up their negotiations to ensure that coins are readily available in retail outlets around the country.

“We hope something can be done to ensure that retailers are back in business and change is readily available to everyone,” Mr Mufukare said.

Government last year warned retailers short-changing consumers through failure to provide coins as change that they risk facing stiffer penalties .