The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says the country which registered a growth in digital payments to $94 billion should consolidate its position as a regional leader in digital payments through increased focus on innovation and interoperability.

Zimbabwe and Kenya have been described as some of the best case studies in the adoption of electronic payments.

In 2017 electronic transactions in Zimbabwe rose from $62 million to $94 billion representing a 52 percent surge.

In his keynote address during the official opening ceremony of the 2018 Zimswitch Payments Conference, RBZ director financial markets Mr Josephat Mutepfa said the country should consolidate its position as a regional leader in digital payments through standardisation, interoperability and continuous innovation.

“The central bank is in this regard urging the financial community to capitalise on technological developments and an enabling environment,” he said.

The conference running under the theme, “Sustaining Digital Payments in Zimbabwe and Creating a Gateway into SADC” saw delegates stressing the need for sharing of infrastructure in order for the country to fully benefit from the digital era.

“We need to move away from the culture of operational silos and prioritise interoperability if we are to derive maximum benefit from the digital era,” said Mr Mutepfa.

Zimswitch deputy general manager Mr Zabron Chilakalaka said on its part Zimswitch will continue to promote interoperability and innovation as part of efforts to develop a vibrant digital payments dispensation in Zimbabwe.

“We have supported the banking industry since our inception through facilitating shared use of existing infrastructure. We are also looking at digital innovation,” he said.

Delegates attending the meeting also stressed the need for affordable transaction costs, the need to ensure consular protection and strengthening of risk management measures.