HARARE, June 7 (The Source) – Harare City Council (HCC) said on Tuesday it had introduced Point of Sale machines for bill payments and will soon expand to online banking as it targets to capture funds directly from non-resident Zimbabweans.
The move, inspired by current cash shortages, had long been called for by rate payers.
But mounting bank note shortages that have gripped Zimbabwe over the past two months have exerted pressure on service providers, such as the city council, that have been laggards in adopting alternative payment methods.
HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said the introduction of electronic payment platforms was meant to promote use of plastic money.
“We have put swiping machines at all our offices, including district offices,” Chideme told The Source.
“We are going to introduce them at Mbare Musika bus terminus and Mupedzanhamo.”
He said the response for payment through POS machines “has been very encouraging.”
“We realised people had money in their bank accounts but did not have cash to pay their bills,” he said.
Besides swiping, rate payers also have the option to pay via mobile money platforms, he said.
“We are also going to be opening new banking halls and district offices in places such as Budiriro and Glen Norah,” he said.
Chideme said council would soon introduce online payments, primarily targeted at the diaspora.
“Most people in the diaspora have properties here and they have been sending money to people based here to pay their bills for them but that money has not been finding its way to council,” Chideme said.