Tuesdays are an important day for foodies and pizza-lovers in Zimbabwe as they will be taking advantage of the “buy one get one free offer” – which is a promotion by Pizza Inn known as Terrific Tuesday. Pizza Inn is one of the flagship businesses of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed Simbisa Brands which is a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) business with an established pan-African footprint in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia, Swaziland, Malawi and DRC. A common feature every Tuesday at most Pizza Inn outlets are the long queues and packs of customers that will be waiting for their pizza orders. What is more interesting is that most of these customers are using eco-cash (mobile money) and bank cards (plastic money) to make payments.
The liquidity situation in Zimbabwe has been a big contributing factor that has catapulted the economy into a cash-less society. This is however in line with global developments where there has been a push to eliminate the use of physical cash. This movement has been referred to as “The War on Cash”. Cash has always been king – but starting in the late 1990s, the convenience of new technologies (online banking, smartphones, payment technologies and encryption) have helped make non-cash transactions to become viable. As illustrated in the infograph below, by 2015, there were 426 billion cashless transactions worldwide – a 50% increase from 2010 (285.2 billion transactions). This trend has continued and one of the questions that we continue to ask ourselves is whether cash is still king?
Source: Texas Precious Metals
All in all, cashless transactions are proving to be much faster and more efficient. There are now multiple ways to pay digitally, including online banking (Visa, Mastercard, Interac), smartphones (Apple Pay), intermediaries (PayPal, Square) and cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin). A number of consumer-facing ZSE-listed companies have witnessed an upsurge in electronic modes of payment as consumers move away from cash. Consumer names that continue to benefit from this move to a cashless society include Delta, BAT Zimbabwe, Econet, Innscor, Simbisa Brands, OK Zimbabwe, Meikles (TM Pick n Pay) and Dairibord.
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