Zimbabwe: Cash Crisis Buffets Rural Businesses
Bulawayo — It never rains but pours for the country’s rural business person. On top of the many challenges confronting rural businesses is the cash crisis.
In rural areas, the preferred mode of payment is cash because there is no adequate network coverage at most service centres to facilitate Point of Sale (POS) transactions. In any case, the bulk of the rural population is still unbanked, meaning to say that their transactions are entirely cash-based.
Most of the rural businesses are retail by nature hence they depend on towns and cities for their supplies. With their urban suppliers weighed down by the prevailing economic challenges, it follows therefore that all has not been well in downstream industries.
And if urban businesses thought that they were having a hard time trying to make ends meet, they would probably not last a day operating in the country’s rural business centres where there are no such options as the use of debit cards for purchasing goods and services.
The now popular POS machines have never been heard of in the rural areas where, because business is so low and far in-between, it would make no economic sense to invest in the gadgets.