Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Ecocash launches ‘Swipe to EcoCash’

ECONET Wireless’ mobile money platform, EcoCash has launched a ‘Swipe into EcoCash’ service that enables customers whose banks have not integrated with EcoCash to be able to swipe their monies from their bank account into their EcoCash accounts.

EcoCash General Manager Natalie Jabangwe during ecocash swipe into ecocash launch in Harare yesterday. Picture by Justin Mutenda

All ZimSwitch enabled cards can access the facility. At present, only five banks are yet to connect on EcoCash platform.

The service will be available at selected merchants as well as agents and customers can swipe up to $2 000 per transaction. However, the number of swipes and limits depend on individual bank’s terms and conditions.

EcoCash general manager Natalie Jabangwe Morris, said this was part of the firm’s efforts to enhance inter-operability and convenience at a time the country is facing cash shortages and relying on electronic platforms for transacting.

“Our idea is to go beyond mobile money. This is about improving on payment systems,” she said during the launch of the service today. As at June 30, 2017 an estimated 6, 8 million customers were active on the EcoCash platform as it remains the largest mobile money service provider.

The mobile money platform is now driving an estimated 90 percent of mobile money in the country ahead competition from Telecel and NetOne’s mobile money platforms.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) national payments systems deputy director Josphat Mutepfa, who officially launched the swipe service said this a commendable innovation at a time consumers seek convenience.

He, however, implored on the financial services sector to be on the lookout for risks associated with digital payment systems as customers also need security.

“This will bring convenience to the banking community. Over the years, we have witnessed collaboration between banks and mobile networks which has resulted improved inter-operability,” he said.

A recent report by the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), outlining the industry’s performance in the second quarter of 2017, gave Ecocash’s market share (as at the end of June 2017) at 98,7 percent, confirming its leadership position in the mobile money sector.

Ecocash is managed by Econet Wireless’ Cassava business unit, and has been leading the mobile money market since its inception in 2011.

The Potraz report said $836 million worth of transactions had been conducted via mobile money in the second quarter of this year alone (from April to June 2017).

The launch of Ecocash Swipe is expected to further strengthen Ecocash’s leading market position by broadening the base of customers that can use the service through the integration with ZimSwitch.

Mr Mutepfa however issued a word of caution to all financial institutions and service providers regarding security of transactions and robustness of their platforms.

“The Issues of risk and security must be diligently addressed and managed by all banks, operators and payment systems suppliers”, he said, stressing the importance of continuous investment and on-going co-operation between the financial services players and the Central Bank, which supervises all banks and financial technology (fintech) companies and solution providers in the country. The Herald