By Prince Sunduzani
Bulawayo public transport operators have started offering swipe services to their customers, following the recent introduction of Kwenga service by Econet subsidiary, Steward Bank. Kwenga is Steward Bank’s tailor made point of sale machine that is ideal for small transactions from as little as 50 cents.
About 50 commuter omnibuses already have the Kwenga device, which is expected to ease cash shortages amongst commuters.
Bulawayo has a kombi population of over 2 000 run by three main public associations. About 1 000 Kwenga devices are said to have been distributed to Bulawayo kombi operators.
On Monday, the Econet Wireless Zimbabwe subsidiary, met with representatives of three main public transporters to deliberate on the service. A survey conducted by Business Chronicle yesterday revealed that a few kombis had started offering the service as many are yet to get their hands on the device.
In an interview yesterday, Bulawayo Public Transporters Association director Mr Albert Ncube said the device is not given instantly hence many kombis have not managed to get it.
He said the machines will be rolled out over a period of two weeks and expected that more kombis would be offering the service by the time the period elapses.
“It takes time for one to get the device, you don’t just go there and they give you instantly. Others went today and were told to come back tomorrow. For now I think only about 50 kombis are offering the service. This programme is being done over a period of 14 days and maybe by then most people will be having it,” he said.
The move is in line with global trends where most transactions are cashless. Monetary transactions in the country are now dominated by electronic payment systems with more than 96 percent of local transactions now being conducted through plastic, internet and mobile money.
According to the Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey (ZAMPS) conducted by The Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation (ZARF) for the second half of 2017, Bulawayo province has the highest number of people who use ATM cards. The Chronicle