Ecocash dominance unsettles government


By Nyasha Chingono

Information Communication Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has expressed disquiet over Econet Wireless’ dominance of the country’s mobile money payments system saying this exposed the country to risk, should the largest telecommunications firm’s systems fail.

ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira
Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira

Mobile payments have grown in importance since banknote shortages intensified in the first quarter of 2016.

Econet, the largest of the three mobile network operators in the country, has a huge share of the mobile payment market through its Ecocash platform, which processed $7,1 billion transactions between March 2016 and February 2017.

Mobile phone-based platforms give subscribers the ability to send and receive money, pay bills and settle transactions, among other transactions.

Apart from providing convenience in a country battling a shortage of physical cash, mobile payment systems also help raise levels of financial inclusion. Ecocash’s rivals have a combined market share of less than two percent in the mobile payments segment.

“Ninety percent of the transactions are being controlled by one mobile network. That is a disaster,” Mandiwanzira said at a mobile payments conference held in Harare last week.

“It may be a commercial success but it’s a disaster if we look at it from a public sector point of view. What happens if that system fails at a critical moment? That means we have disrupted the entire nation because we have relied on one supplier,” he said.

He said government, which recently took over a 60 percent stake in Telecel Zimbabwe, would increase its stake in the mobile telecommunications firm to allow the company to aggressively push its own mobile money payment platform, Telecash, in order to break Ecocash’s stranglehold.

He acknowledged Telecash had failed to make a mark in the mobile money space.

Government wholly-owns another mobile telecommunications operator NetOne, whose own mobile payment service is also struggling to gain a foothold in the market.

Mandiwanzira said government had empowered the Postal, Telecommunications, Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) to punish mobile network providers who over charge for mobile payments.

“We almost have a monopoly so they think they can do whatever they want. We have encouraged the regulator, Potraz to really deal with some of these monopolistic tendencies. We have encouraged the regulator here to really show its teeth because most of the operators here are getting away with airtime disappearing,” Mandiwanzira said.

He said government, through Potraz, would fine telecommunication network providers charging exorbitant fees.

“We really need to start fining these operators. The regulator is working on going in hard on operators abusing consumers. The costs are unjustified — the costs are just for a text message, there is nothing sophisticated about that bank alerts,” said Mandiwanzira, referring to charges for text messages generated after transactions.

“You cannot hold an asset that you were given by government through a license and think that it is entirely yours. Others must access what you have built but they should do so at a fee, a reasonable fee. That is the message we have given to Econet, Netone and Telecel. You own the frequency to the extent of your license but we can also tell you what to do,” he said. The Financial Gazette

You might also like More from author

  • A paranoid gvt would always fear such useless things.

    • Zimbabwe

      I agree with you but yes econet is taking advantage using the rules they have been given

      • Moto

        The “disaster” is not that Econet is dominating financial systems but that the banks and the Govt/RBZ have managed to destroy public confidence in the usual banking system.

        • Zimbabwe

          True but if no one is accountable for any wrong doing or even any decision they make we end up with a parallel banking system were the very banks are running the black market. Even if you dominate the market that’s not an excuse to take advantage

  • itaiwo yenyu mobile money company

    • Hazvibatsire xar kungot ndinemari uchibatirwa na% pese pawatenga hauoni kut kubaa ikoku,Zimbabwe dai pacna ecocash maiita cy????

  • Econet yakadhakwa

  • lts very sad and absurd to think a minister can say that.This ladies and gentleman is what is wrong about Zimbabwe

    • Zimbabwe

      Yes it sad but we can we do?

  • what anopenga ….itawo yako supa …

  • Nxaaa so why don’t u open to more private players?

  • Kukwata masiiwa

  • Netone wallet vakazoita sei nayo?

  • Tozozviona zvadonha for now let’s ecocash coz ndozvega zviripo banks can’t show

  • ATOVA NE KWESE HAMUNA ZVAMUNGAMUITA.

  • Kwese TV pfeee nekudhakwa kwayo

  • Dai pasina Ecocash muZimbabwe hameno

  • This is nonsense Econet has made lives for most Zimbabweans bearable.There are other more pressing issues than this nonsense you are talking about.

  • The guy is right. Everytime they do system maintenance tinomboona moto

    • Go to option B baba if you have one

    • I do have kkkkk

    • Inconveniences are experienced everytime u upgrade. Even handset stops other applications from functional.

    • they advise yu in time

    • William Magwenzi

      What other alternatives do you have.
      If the banking system was so strong and there was cash flow econet wouldn’t be the problem.
      This is likespecially swatting a fly from an open wound.
      Unless it’s healed it’s not the fly that’s the problem.

  • We know you Supa,always feeling threatened by Eco.You must be ashamed of yourself

  • My question is: what does minister Mandiwanzira and his government has to offer in place of that

  • Uyu ashaya zokutaura

  • If yr party fails then u expect same wth econet…pessimist!

  • Do you have hve plan B Supa. Dnt just open yr mouth for the sake of being heard even when you are talking rubbish.

  • Kudzie Ranga

  • Econet is the only working company in this country together with Delta. A whole minister can really say that. The worst thing that ever happened to us is to be born Zimbabwe

  • This is a fake minister whose agenda is solely that of destroying econet. Ever since he came in It’s been econet this econet that. Ndokupererwa uku. I wonder if that sector was not lucrative, would he still give a hoot about ecocash? Very soon they will start announcing client thresholds for mobile money companies just to get their incompetent mobile money platforms to the party.

    • Zim Zanu iro super siyana naro A
      Kkkkk kurwadziwa nekuyamurika kwaita vanhu through econet money services waizia

    • Chimbopagaya as I paari kutaura. What are the consequences if such befall us! Tisingango shore chero chataurwa. Imbopafungawo!

    • Aunt Rose, there is nothing to think about. Econet is just taking advantage of a failed economic system. The central bank and the ministry of finance have failed dismally to regulate the monetary system. If Supa is genuine in his fears he should then advise the cabinet to set up a better system than Ecocash to make sure the country has somewhere to fall back on if Ecocash failed.

  • Says A Clueless Supa-Idiot Mandiwanzira.Nxaaaa

  • Vanhu vaya vatanga

  • Mboko imboko

  • Patasvika mukoma super kwave kumakata zvokt zveeconet siyanai nazvo kana musina dzimwe pfungwa mukada kukanganisa munozoshohwa nenyika coz kubank hakuchina rubatsiro.

  • Strive has strived so wats yo problem iwe Supa(Delta)!

  • NE ECONET UNOENDA KURE ACROSS AFRICA,ECOCASH IS NOT ONLY IN ZIMBABWE,CHAUSIRI KUZIVA supa TAAKUTOKUWANZIRA ANY ECONOMIC PLATFORM THAT GIVES LIFE TO MANY IS THE ONE WE SUPPORT, IWE NEHURUMENDE YAKO PASI NEMI NDINI NDADARO,OTHERWISE UCHANYARA.

  • Being a zimbo is a curse for sure .fix your shit cde minister put your house in oder

  • Kkkkkk. Instead of telling net one to work up from deep sleep despite mega deals with second largest economy in the world

  • Econet yatibatsira iyi in this Cashless Society

  • saka minister munoda kuty ani aite dominate manje.moda kuty zanu pf ne zim asset zviite dominate here..

  • The issue of making comments without providing alternatives has long been becoming popular in this our Zimbabwe its so sickening 😎😎 who is providing us with the alternative way over the years ( telecel, netone, etc ) beside Econet ?????

  • Dai pasina ecocash dai tiripi nhasi nhay vaMandiwanzira
    Ikozvino nyika yese yangove
    “Yapinda here ??kana yapinda undiudze” kkkkk mari mufon ,upenyu huchifamba makugwadziwa fut apa vashandi vako vese ukuvaisiravo pay yavo mufon ne ecocash

  • From a Camera man to a Minister

  • These guys dislike functioning structures. Supa Mandiwanza hence attempting to dismantle Econet

  • I am now beginning to think that banks will soon be extinct; just like the call box or the postage stamp

  • Kurwadziwa uko

  • Huh??

  • Ibva apa

  • Comic minister.

  • After Econet…why?

  • It’s because they are not bribing him

  • KKKKK HEY YAAA KO TIPEI TINZWE I HEARD KT KTNTHIS SO CALLED GUY OF ECONET IS CAMPAIGNING STARTING FRO HIGHFIELD ACHIPA VANHU MARII NEMABHASIKORO BT HE IS USING SOME ONE NOT IYEE HIMSELF. Pamberi nemaproduct e Econet though PA data vakadhakwa

  • Monopoly ndiyo inopepedzwa nemaZimbabweans. Hongu econet irikusimukira but kana isina competition tisu tino affectwa. Zvaataura Minister ichokwadi though asina solution zvake

    • Kkkkkkk i think igodo

    • Competition iripo wani telecash neimwe yacho iya.Kungoti ecocash is more efficient compared to the other two.Haisi nhau ye monopoly asi kuti vamwe varikuzokunda company dzakasarudzwa dzacho.Econet offers a service and there are millions who want the service, you have a choice saka hapana monopoly.

    • shallow

    • At times its better to keep quite,than talk shallow and kak.

  • You have nothing to offer just shut ur big mouth and let those with something to offer talk. Hamudi kuona kunoponera vanhu moda kuti ona tichitambura haunyare why.

  • Can someone tell me…. Is he Zimbabwean?

    Does he have relatives, friends, family or church in Zimbabwe

    Is he human?

    Does he go to toilet?

  • apa ichidhura futi econet yacho lol

  • Trying to work with fruits please the minister must go to the root of the matter

  • He want to open up his now dley zanu pf they dont wnt other pple to mak money

  • It is much more detrimental for this country to dominated by one political party zanu pf tarisaiwo muone pata svika nyika yawa matsoto chaiwo

  • Getaway nxaaaa hrtless pple hamude kuona panoraramisa vanhu ndoshaya vanokuvhoterai kuti mumusoro mavo mune matuzvi rudziwai

  • Kuda kukohwa pakarimwa nevamwe

  • Kuda kukohwa pakarimwa nevamwe

  • we dont even want to use it. its costly to buy with it but nocash wat do u want us to do mr politician

  • its only that the owner dosent support their regime

  • Rubbish

  • Mr Supa ur attacks on econet seem to be rather more personal than professional

  • This is private entity which has built credibility and trust with its 5million plus customers. Econet poses a national security threat should Strive think of removing this administration by simply cancelling ecocash package just for 2 weeks. That means 80% of Zimbabwe that depend on Ecocash platform is between hard place and a rock and that may push for internal uprising. As of now Strive possess too much power more that the ruling party and it’s not good for one man to have that kind of power , that’s what Supa is having trouble to say.

    • Great analysis

    • Monopoly haidwe…….same ws monopoly ye microsoft……Ministr aoona…thoo ma altrnatives asipo but i sad truth ..

    • truth be told. yur ryt bro. he’s powerful so they are trying to install fear to the masses to bring him down.

    • What monopoly are you taking about Moses? The network providers operate within parameters set by Supa and there only 3 major competitors in the local telecom industry .The world class innovations and credibility by Econet makes it more favourable with customers . Econet is not forcing anyone to use their network by rather offers better service than the other two providers and naturally attracts bigger custpmer base.The big question Supa should answer is why people prefer Ecocash platform to Telecash or Onewallet.

    • Moses, Econet Wireless Global zvazvinhu hachisi chinhu. It operates in Africa, Europe, South Asian and America, to be precise in 17 countries. As of 2011 it had 3 billion revenue , Strive now has too much polical and economical muscle that is too troubling for our political leadership. The big puzzle is they can no longer contain him even if they tried.

    • Monopoly munoiziva here imi ,Ecocash is just better and most preferred or reliable otherwise there are number of companies in the same business, our gvt has a problem with someone who is successful and not part of the system, tovaziva hunhu hwavo godo iro

    • This is typical of Zanu PF mentality, always feeling threatened by the success of anyone outside their control. Just let Masiyiwa strive to excellence and stop trying to control everything and infecting it corruption. Masiyiwa is miles ahead of the glorified news reader Mandiwandzira!

    • Who cares what he wants to say !

    • Lets call it Masiyiwa Monopoly. The guy now has too much power in the financial market.

    • Strive yes strive to get there powered by econet unozodei mwana wamai

    • Ndozvinoita gomo re bindura ukanamatira mubako uwil cme out a giant

    • frnk if i may ask .whats the lummit of power in financial market

    • Frank if i may ask .whats the limmit of power in financial market

    • Makes sense😉

  • qade

    imi govt…..u need to privatise tELECEL TO MTN and commercialise Netone…..govt cannot be regulater and player in industry at the same time

  • Typical zezuru dunderheads. Greedy, dumb and incompetent

  • He is sick

  • Personally, my fears are not what happens when Ecocash systems fail but imagining a Zimbabwe that never had Ecocash.

  • Internet connection serious

  • NASSA failed and betrayed thousands of workers in all industrial sectors none of them had complained so why should he be concerned today. How about POSB what is it doing?

  • Talk about the failing government, instead. Econet is doin well and they are advancing in technology.

  • Please can someone tell this minister kuti ngaaise cash yedu kubank aone kuti hatinei neecocash isu. Ecocash is the only meaningful alternative means available for transacting in Zim. Introduce command Transacting if yu want

  • Raymond Chipfakacha

  • So suprising to hear Cde Supa blaming Econet andd Ecocash for being better businesses than the ones he leads via his line ministry. If the minister loves Zimbabweans so much as he wants us to believe why does he not protect us form the evil Strive by doing something through One wallet and Telecash given that the government is the principal shareholder in both companies? We should be doing the complaining and lobbying part not the minister. Surely his obsession with Masiyiwa has reaching embarrassingly alarming levels. Instead of driving policy he is busy complaining about why Econet has been a better player than both Telecel and Netone. It is this vendatta that his ministry and the government at large has that has disadvantaged Zimbaweans by delaying regularising Econet’s Kwese TV in zimbabwe. Its a shame having leadership like Supa running an important ministry like ICT. Dai aenda hake kuPsychomotor and PE ministry, whatever its name!

  • Which system is immune to break down or burglary?

  • Agents are charging 10-20% for cash out transactions. That’s unfair in any economy. It is a good intention to a bad inclination.

  • That’s a good example of running a private entity.

  • SUPA ANOPENGA

  • Saka mukuda kuita sei? Tokuzivai ana supa nxa

  • How can I come to nehanda in box I have something 2 say ryt now

  • This Super Mandiwanzira is jealousy of Econet’s continued growth. His intentions are to grab that company. So shameless. Why don’t you create your own company and bring competition to Eco-cash’s doorstep???

  • I hope you have a plan b not the usual statement” gvt plans to do this” apa plan yacho haiuye for good.nxaaa

  • thiz big companies even if they experience system failures no data is lost. they have multiple servers that store the same data but they save separately. some data is manually saved through print outs of hard copies and some is saved electronically. so worry not. thats why yu see when they do system upgrades everything comes back to normal. fear and worry not

  • And what Solution do you have? If Ecocash was yours you would be having some answers to support it. There so many things with solutions which are being left alone to go on.

  • Igodo

  • Hapana akabatirwa shamhu kuita ECOCASH but ndoiri nani mabank akadhakwa

  • Muri kurwadziwa Minister. Unomona

  • Chero zvazvaita inga wani mabanks aka freezer mari dzedu mu era ya 2008.saka chinoshamisa chii.

  • All these things were happening whilst you were looting diamonds money.
    Econet has been operating for how many years?????

  • It’s their business acumen thus taking them this far. Idzo nyope dzichadya izvozvo

  • So what are you suggesting then

  • Bank to Wallet, Wallet to bank ungatidii. Ndo electronic money yacho zve

  • Econet/Ecocash Mr Mandiwanzira is too big to fail, unless you know something. Econet have what they call redundancy and back up systems in Zimbabwe and abroad. The only fear Honourable minister is the fear of one man blessed by God to hold financial power that have a potential to control a nation such as Zimbabwe.

    • it has failed us recently what happened yesterday is failure and this is not good we need competitive companies to have similar platforms netone and telecel havent been good when it comes to mobile money transfer
      their is need for measures to safeguard clients from such disappointments

    • Good analysis there Tonde.There’s no need for the minister to raise so much alarm.He’s so worried bcoz his boss aint sleepin over Strive’s prosperity.

  • ZANU PF is a huge risk, imari yakho here, warwadziwa papi, shandisa dzako njere?

  • What worse risk is there worse than accessing your

  • Is there a worse risk than failing to access you own cash from the bank

  • I don’t like Econet anymore but Supa sounds stupid here

  • Pakaipa

  • this is quite true the level of disaster that will emerge like the recent glitch with ecocash will affect many

  • Zvipiko

  • uyu minister unedaka neecocàsh,makadii kungovhura yenyu

  • What about if it doesnt fail? Even backs bank online so it wont fail? Other service providers havent invested well and are being sidelined on the market. They shud come up with new inventions that woe clients

  • Zibenzi rakazara mvura yesewage mumusoro

  • Saka!

  • Hokoyo! Ukaona zvaakudai.Ecocash ingangomiswa.

  • As a minister u should be positive we working with a failing government but here we are

  • So u do agree econet is the man with the balls

  • This is typical of Zanu PF mentality, always feeling threatened by the success of anyone outside their control. Just let Masiyiwa strive to excellence and stop trying to control everything and infecting it corruption. Masiyiwa is miles ahead of the glorified news reader Mandiwandzira!

  • Its too expensive. Agents are now adding a fee 15%-20%.

  • Supa,what have you being smoking lately? Its so mind blowing to hear a sane whole minister speaking like a drunken &dreamy youth at a youth rally somewhere in UMP.

  • Strive has seen the suffering of Zimbabweans in the hands of you people , who are just pocketing the money , for your personal use . All the banks can close , we do not care. Ecocash is the way to go .

  • Bring back the money .

  • Shut up what risk? The risk of not getting their hands on our money Super wakutiwanzira manje

  • Nonsense

  • ahh uyu anongorwadziwawo kana vanhu vachibatsirikana.Masiwa is a Zimbabwean so handichanzwisisa zvamuri kutaura apa vakuru

  • Dai vakatoita Masiiwa minister of finance :-P. Akarongeka hake zvee.

  • How so ironical. That Econet has secured such a market share in the face of mediocre competitors is hardly surprising. If its surprising, then its a feat we should celebrate as a show of genius and great business acumen. Its not a disaster. Its a success story (excuse me for being naive). That potraz should be set upon Masiiwa’s Econet is really regressive and pitiable. Instead this particular ministry must create an environment that allows econet and thesee other players to grow, not to hold back businesses run by successful black African who are also sons of the soil. Zvarinenge godo nhai?

  • View it this way, lets say you have $100 balance on Ecocash, the next day Ecocash says, OUR ECOCASH SERVICES WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FROM 22:00 FRIDAY TILL 22:00 SUNDAY FOR SYSTEM MAINTAINANCE. After that period, on checking your balance you discover your Ecocash balance is now $00.00. That’s the risk we are talking about here. If this happens on airtime credit, what would stop it from happening on EcoCash. Huge risk indeed. There should be measures to protect EcoCash users from that possibility.

  • Uroyi hwamai

  • Strive is a tried and tested brand.

  • This is a joke

  • Pa telecel hatizivi kuti hurumende yakapinda papi . Telecel yaiva nemukana mukuru wekukura .

  • Ivhu kuvanhu rakanaka zvikuru asi rinoda kupa vanogona kurishandisa kwete kuvaka lodge munzzvimbo yekurima. Badza guru ipa kumurimi ukapa tsimbe inowa naro.

  • True mater is other network providers should market their products properly before complaining.nyika ndeimwe.ivhu nderimwe vanhu ndevamwe so pindai mubusiness noungwaru.kkk

  • Why would it fail???
    How many banks has failed us here?
    You don’t even know How was ecocash started you should follow Masiwa’s fb page to learn more about ecocash (Hon Minister).

  • Fail ipi yaunotaura mari dzedu ngani dzakanyura ecocash yaivapo . Tinongozvitangidza futi sezvatakaita last time pamakaba mari dzedu.

  • super tikwanire apa, inga one wallet iriko ne telecash wani, hamudi kukundwa

  • If it fails that’s when your government comes in and do all the duties if its functional,unless if you just complain from the touchline doing nothing.

  • Supa dog

  • Mudzoserei kuno verenga news mface uyu

  • Ecocash accepted here kkkkk

  • Instead of appreciating the good that Econet has done, you get shocking reprisals. Econet is testmony of what good business is about its competitors Netone and telecell are pale shodows. And when you start seeing seeing shadows in your vicinity and pointing fingers at your competition those are true signs of failer on your part and not your tools.

  • Apa arikutonga hake arikunze kwenyika ahhhh, enough respect Strive Masiiwa,there must be something you are doing right. Kunemazirume asingarari achifunga kuti vokuwisa sei,too bad you are decades ahead

  • Liar akuda kti vanhu vaende kutelecash bank raarikuda kuita take over ko one wallet netelecash zvakavharwa vanhu vanoita sei afraid of competing nastrive ecocash has made lyf simple anonyepa ko kwese tv ikatanga muno whats he going to say pamberi ne ecocash pasi ne ecosure chete

  • It looks like jealous but from a Gvt perspective its an unstable scenario.Gvt should be able to control funds in circulation. A wise solution possibly to dilute the monopoly of Ecocash without raising eyebrows is to fund Telecash or possibly One wallet and make it accessible in all Gvt departments. People will find sense in transacting in the other mobile money alternatives

  • Kuda kungonzi ataurawo…. angatochema ne Econet nhasi, ko patakambokuwadzwa na Gono aivepi

  • Absolute joke

  • Ayaz. kikikikiki.

  • Zimbabwe has had one political party since 1980, who is complaining???

error: Content is protected !!