Embrace Plastic and Mobile Money or Face Demise: Experiences of Subsistence Micro and Small Entrepreneurs in the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe
This study sought to find out whether subsistence micro and small entrepreneurs in the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe had embraced plastic and mobile money for their business transactions; the circumstances that had led to their adoption, if they had; whether or not they had experienced any challenges compared to cash transactions and the consequences of their non-adoption. The study employed a survey method involving sixty five randomly selected subsistence micro and small entrepreneurs. Self-administered questionnaires were used to elicit responses which were converted to qualitative data through thematic coding. Frequencies and percentages were also used. Firstly, all the participants in the study were using plastic and mobile money, with 63 percent using both Ecocash and swiping; 26 percent were using mainly Eco cash, and approximately 11 percent, were using swiping. Secondly, about 80 percent of the respondents indicated that they had been forced by the cash shortage to use plastic and mobile money upon realisation that their continued denial of this mode of transacting would lead them into entrepreneurial oblivion. Thirdly, the use of plastic and mobile money were bedevilled by numerous challenges. Fourthly, insistence on cash had led to continuous loss of customers and revenue. The study concluded that subsistence micro and small entrepreneurs had embraced plastic and mobile money despite the challenges faced. The study recommended that the concerned stakeholders, namely, policy makers, banks and service providers create an enabling environment with the necessary infrastructure to enable smooth operations in the adoption of plastic and mobile money.
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