Lack of POS machines cripples rural businesses

Lack of POS machines cripples rural businesses
Published: 28 September 2017
RURAL communities are unable to use plastic money due to poor telecommunications network connectivity.

Given the continuing cash shortages in the economy, transacting is a nightmare for consumers in such remote areas.

Speaking during a Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) awareness campaign in parts of Matabeleland North last week, villagers said they were not benefiting from a variety of electronic transacting options that the country has embraced as they lacked quality network connectivity.

The regulatory authority conducted an outreach programme to capture the concerns of consumers and evaluate the quality of service by different network providers in the province.

The programme covered districts such as Nkayi, Tsholotsho, Jotsholo and Binga.

"We are not happy with the services offered to us by these network service providers. They must improve to match the money we are paying. We want to enjoy the value for our money and get quality service as consumers," said Miss Joyce Handina during a meeting in Tsholotsho.

The villagers complained over insufficient Point of Sale (POS) machines in Tsholotsho, which they said was crippling their businesses and access to services.

"There are very few shops here that have POS machines. The current cash challenges make it difficult for us to have cash so POS machines are supposed to cushion us.

"More of these POS machines are supposed to be availed to the periphery areas for business to remain viable and for consumers to be able to buy," said Mr Maliwa Dube who chairs the Business Against Crime Forum of Zimbabwe.

Consumers also accused mobile service providers of shortchanging them in terms of data value.

"The charges being levied on us by network service providers especially the data tariffs are incorrect. Just imagine weekly WhatsApp data bundles get exhausted before the actual expiry date. This is daylight robbery because it means they are just for three-days not even a week. We want Potraz to help us on this," said Mr Lungisani Kunene.

Villagers expressed concern over poor radio and television coverage, which they said deprived them of access to critical public information and current   affairs.

"There is no network coverage here in terms of local television and radio services. The issue becomes worse when there is no electricity and we are relying on DStv. We are not informed about the current affairs in the country hence we rely on foreign news agents and that is not good at all," said another participant.

Potraz public affairs manager, Mrs Sibonginkosi Muteyiwa, acknowledged the consumers' concerns and urged service providers to improve their services.

"As Potraz our mandate is to push forward the consumer rights in order for them to be satisfied about services offered to them. The service providers must not take advantage of the consumer. They must provide good quality services that match their money," she said.

The Potraz consumer education and awareness campaign was initiated in 2016 and this year's exercise runs under the theme "Postal and Telecommunications Consumers Know Your Rights".
- chronicle
Tags: POS,


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