An analysis of the feasibility of a cashless Zimbabwean society
Vhumbunu, Reginald Tendai
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The aim of the study is to analyse the feasibility of achieving a cashless society in Zimbabwe. There has been resistance by most sectors of the economy to adopt new electronic payment delivery channels. The cashless society is one where coins and notes are replaced by efficient electronic payments initiated by various types of plastic cards and other electronic delivery channels like the mobile phone and the internet. The research was quantitative in nature. A survey was carried out through the use of questionnaires with 151 members of staff who are regulators of financial and telecommunication industry, bankers, merchants, service providers of financial institutions and general users of electronic payment systems. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) and correlations were used to test the relationship between variables. The main findings of this research were that a cashless Zimbabwean society is possible although it is important to have the necessary electronic payment systems and other relevant infrastructure in place. The Zimbabwean public has the right attitude towards the use of electronic payment systems. Mobile payment systems are the most commonly used in Zimbabwe although ATMs are also used significantly. The internet payments and point of sale are the other electronic payment methods used. Mobile phone based services have now offered financial institutions the ability to electronically include a wider cross section of the previously unbanked. The research recommended that players in the electronic payments industry need to share infrastructure in order to promote productive efficiency. The cost of telecommunications and general ICT hardware and software should be made affordable to ensure that the general infrastructure improves. The government should remove barriers to innovation, including regulatory ones to enable growth in electronic payment systems in Zimbabwe. An area of further study is recommended to investigate into mobile money payment systems, user acceptability and payment problems in Zimbabwe.