Zimbabwe registers a total of 20,000 POS terminals as country embraces digital payment alternatives

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
FBC Bank Mobile Moola, Swiping, Card transactions, e-banking, Zimswitch, swiping, swipe limit debit card

Zimbabwe’s total number of Point of Sale (POS) terminals has increased from 17,069 recorded at the end of March 2016 to a current figure of 20,000.

Speaking at the recent Mobile Money and Digital Payments Conference the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s director of national payments Josephat Mutepfa highlighted the growth in the electronic payments field in the past year which has been influenced by the cash crisis in Zimbabwe.

At the end of June 2015, Zimbabwe had 15,908 POS terminals a number which increased to 16,363 by the end of December 2015. As the liquidity situation in the economy worsens service providers have been forced to introduce payment alternatives that accommodate customers using mobile money and card services.

This has been complemented by the introduction of debit card alternatives that cater for various client segments.

At the same time, the rollout of the infrastructure supporting these payment alternatives like the POS terminals has been hampered by the costs involved in importing the hardware.


  1. Gary

    The amount of times you want to use your card and the machine says you have insufficient funds or there is no connection? You end up paying cash. We are in 2016 and the same probs would happen in shops as far back as 2001. Digital Zimbabwe needs a 100% overhaul.

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    FYI *embrace* means to accept or support _(a belief, theory, or change)_ willingly and enthusiastically. We as a country have not embraced digital payments, it is something that has been forced upon us. Banks are the winners here, somehow despite bank charges being cut, we are now paying more. Services that were free are now charged for. Balance enquiries at atms, for example. To my amazement on my monthly statement from NMB there are $0.03 SMS ALERT CHARGEs for each transaction on my account, which means, in addition to my swipe charges, there’s 3 cents on top. These charges fast accumulate if you swipe a lot instead of using cash. Besides that, POS swipe charges aren’t consistent for equal valued transactions. It’s cheaper if I use a Zimswitch POS compared to VISA one, something neither the merchant, nor your banker tells you. Some merchants are actually encouraged by POS machine providers, Steward (at a certain upmarket sports club), to prioritise using their Visa POS machines when a cheaper Zimswitch or even my own bank POS is available. If we add on obscure “transaction declined” errors, non-deterministic card acceptance, there is nothing much to “embrace”.