How to Handle Late Payments as an Entrepreneur in Zimbabwe

Indoor shot of unhappy young businesswoman with curly hair having a serious phone conversation with a client while managing finances and paying bills online sitting at a table with papers and a laptop computer
Indoor shot of unhappy young businesswoman with curly hair having a serious phone conversation with a client while managing finances and paying bills online sitting at a table with papers and a laptop computer

Zimbabwe is a country that faces many economic challenges, such as hyperinflation, currency instability, cash shortages, and low productivity. These challenges affect not only the general population but also the entrepreneurs who are trying to start and grow their businesses. One of the common problems that entrepreneurs face in Zimbabwe is the difficulty of getting paid on time by their customers or clients. In this article, we are going to learn how to handle late payments as Entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe

There are several reasons why entrepreneurs don’t get paid on time in Zimbabwe. One of them is the lack of efficient and affordable payment methods. According to StartupBiz Zimbabwe, (, there are five main payment methods for Zimbabwean businesses: mobile money, ZimSwitch, electronic funds transfer (EFT), online payment processors, and cash. However, each of these methods has its own limitations and drawbacks.

Mobile money

To start with, mobile money, such as Ecocash and Telecash, is the most popular and widely used payment method in Zimbabwe. It allows people to send and receive money using their mobile phones, without the need for a bank account. However, mobile money transactions are subject to high service fees, network disruptions, and regulatory restrictions. For example, in June 2020, the government suspended all mobile money transactions for three days as part of a crackdown on illegal foreign currency trading. This caused a lot of inconvenience and losses for many businesses and individuals who rely on mobile money for their daily transactions.


ZimSwitch is a platform that offers interoperability and facilitates financial inclusion. It allows people to use their bank cards to make payments across different banks and merchants. However, ZimSwitch transactions are also subject to service fees, network failures, and limited coverage. Not all banks and merchants are connected to ZimSwitch, and not all customers have bank cards or accounts.


EFT is a method of transferring money from one bank account to another electronically. It includes real-time gross settlement (RTGS), which is used for large transactions between banks. However, EFT transactions are also subject to service fees, delays, and currency fluctuations. Due to the unstable exchange rate between the local currency (ZWL) and the foreign currency (USD), many businesses prefer to receive payments in USD rather than ZWL. However, not all customers have access to USD or foreign currency accounts.

Online payment processors

Online payment processors, such as Paynow, are platforms that enable online payments using various methods such as Ecocash, Telecash, ZimSwitch, MasterCard, or Visa. They are useful for businesses that sell products or services online or remotely. However, online payment processors are also subject to service fees, internet connectivity issues, and security risks. Not all customers have access to the internet or trust online payments.


Cash is the most traditional and preferred payment method for many businesses and customers in Zimbabwe. It does not incur any service fees or network disruptions. However, cash payments have drastically plummeted due to the prevailing cash shortages in the country. It is very difficult to withdraw cash from banks or ATMs, and many people resort to buying cash from illegal dealers at a premium. Cash payments also pose security risks such as theft or robbery.

As a result of these challenges, many entrepreneurs struggle to get paid on time by their customers or clients. This affects their cash flow, profitability, and sustainability.

Some of the strategies that entrepreneurs can use to overcome these challenges include:

Be Clear From the beginning

Negotiating clear payment terms and conditions with their customers or clients before delivering their products or services.

Offering incentives

Offering discounts or incentives for early or prompt payments.

Accept multiple payment methods

Accepting multiple payment methods and currencies to cater to different customer preferences and situations.

Use digital platforms

Using digital platforms and tools to send invoices, reminders, receipts, and confirmations. Pygentech developed a dedicated accounting software tailored for Zimbabwean entrepreneurs. Check it out at

Build trust and rapport

Building trust and rapport with their customers or clients through quality products or services, good communication, and excellent customer service. Pygentech developed a dedicated customer relationship management software tailored for Zimbabwean entrepreneurs and the market. Check it out at

Seek legal recourse

Seeking legal recourse or debt collection services for overdue or defaulting payments.

Entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe have a critical role in the economic recovery and development of the nation. However, they need to overcome many obstacles and barriers that hinder their growth and success. One of them is getting paid on time by their customers or clients. By understanding the reasons behind this problem and applying some of the strategies mentioned above, entrepreneurs can improve their chances of getting paid on time and running their businesses smoothly.

Tinashe Chibondo
Tinashe Chibondo

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