THE country's national payment switch, ZimSwitch, has launched a Zipit Smart application, which enables consumers to pay for goods and services through merchants instantly.
Before the innovation, Zipit only enabled users to transfer funds from one bank account to another without facilitating the payment of goods and services.
Speaking during the launch of Zipit Smart held online yesterday, NMB head of digital banking Cloud Nhau said through the payment solution, customers would now be able to perform transactions like payment for groceries, bills, tithes and offerings and school fees via Zipit to a merchant code.
"Zipit Smart merchant payment solution enables banking and mobile money customers to pay for services at merchants using their mobile phones. Indeed, the introduction of Zipit Smart speaks to the current situation as well as the future in providing payment solutions to the transacting public.
"Zipit Smart will undoubtedly bring much-needed transaction convenience to the public where they can now afford to forget their debit card at home, but still be able to pay for goods and services from their bank accounts using their mobile phones," Nhau said.
"The introduction of Zipit Smart will enable banking institutions and other players in the payment industry to widely distribute their merchants to previously unreachable areas without the headache of procuring point of sale (POS) machines. Currently, banks require foreign currency to procure POS machines for even the smallest of merchants, which can be uneconomical both from a hardware and communication perspective.
"The advent of Zipit Smart will solve this challenge overnight as there will be no need for capital outlay or connectivity recurring costs for banks to set up a merchant. The bank will only incur the cost of printing the merchant code which is expected to have a significant impact on the customer transaction charges as well," he added.
Nhau further said that the smart solution was expected to infiltrate businesses like tuck shops, barber shops, farming input suppliers as well as formal businesses, including microfinance institutions.