The use of plastic money in Zimbabwe has surged by over 400 percent during the past month as the country grapples with cash shortages, the Senate heard on Thursday.
Responding to questions in the Senate, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said he was impressed with the rate at which the transacting public was adopting use of plastic money to address the on-going cash shortages.“We have adopted a multi-thronged approach to address the cash shortages,” he said.
“One of the approaches is to encourage the use of plastic money. As I speak, over the past four to five weeks, we have seen a quantum increase in the usage of plastic money, an increase of more than 400 percent,” he said.
Minister Chinamasa said the corporate sector had popularised the use of plastic money on the local market.
“We hope this multi thronged approach will go a long way to assist in reducing the demand for the US dollar,” he said.
Earlier this week, The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe reduced charges on electronic transactions to encourage use of plastic money in the wake of a biting cash crunch in the economy.
The move followed public complaints that bank charges including for electronic transactions were too high.
Zimbabwe has been facing severe cash shortages which authorities blame on money laundering and a widening trade deficit.
The central bank has since announced a raft of measures to deal with the cash crisis, which include limiting cash withdrawals and the planned introduction of bond notes in October. — New Ziana