EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that th platform is said to handle on a daily basis.Apart from just sending money, the platform also allows users to make purchases, settles debts among many other monetary transactions
EcoCash was launched on September 29, 2011 and has since then witnessed unprecedented growth of the facility since its inception. On its launch, the platform was essentially a mobile money transfer facility but there were plans shelved for the future meant to integrate the facility with with services like DSTV, open up the platform to work with other banks other than Steward Bank which at the time was still known as TN Bank.Cite error: Closing
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It is generally believed that the platform handles money amounting to over US$ 100 Million per month and handles about 7 million transactions in a month as of 2013
EcoCash Management Team
- Chief Executive Cuthbert Tembedza
Products Offered and Other Services
EcoCash Debit Card
The debit card is among some of the latest products to be offered on the EcoCash platform, the debit card was introduced on July 30, 2014. The launch of the card came as an added convinience to Econet customers already using the EcoCash facility as the card is automatically linked to the money in the EcoCash wallet. Apart from being able to make payments across borders and also online, the card also relieved customers from the burden of having to travel around with large sums of money.
Through a partnership with remittance company World Remit, EcoCash was expanded to come up with an international money transfer product known as Ecocash Diaspora. When the platform was rolled out, it was scheduled to cater for remittances coming from 35 countries but the long term plan was to increase the number of countries. The product was also commended for its affordability considering that other money transfer agencies such as Western Union were charging 20 pounds for handling a 300 pound transaction while World Remit which Econet had partnered would charge less than 10 pounds. The service works almost in similar pattern to a conventional EcoCash transaction by sending confirmation messages to both the sender and the receiver. The central bank was also reported to have agreed to raise the limits from US$3 000 to US$10 000 for people who have accounts and also to approve transactions that are above limits on an individual basis to allow greater convenience. EcoCash Diaspora also came with other side benefits which would allow the sender in the diaspora to pay utility bills directly, move money from their bank accounts to the wallets of relatives in Zimbabwe
In December 2013, Econet through its mobile money transfer platform EcoCash announced the launch of EcoCash payroll. Under the platform, small to medium companies would be able to make salary payments to their employees without having to go to banks and make huge sum transactions, the facility was also being offered to companies free of charge. The facility allows companies to make instant payments to their employees as long as their wallet balance has the necessary funds. The move was a welcome especially in light of a story in which a Harare based company was said to have lost US$ 100 000 meant for salaries. Companies which included the likes of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), fertiliser producer Windmill, Harare City Council, medical aid society Cimas and the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe were already using the EcoCash Payroll system.
=Bill Payment Services
In March 2012, Econet announced that all it customers on the EcoCash platform would be pay their utility bills via the platform allowing them to transact without having having to walk to the premises of the service provider. For a customer to be able to make bill payments on the platform, they need to have an account number with the particular biller they will need to enter this account number when making a payment to the Biller account. Under the arrangement, water bills, DSTV payments and even groceries could be purchased without the use of hard cash. The move was hailed by many people considering the country's seemingly perennial liquidity crunch. The partnership between Econet and DSTV was also hailed by many people because it allowed people to make DSTV subscriptions in the comforts of their homes not to mention instant activation for those utilising the facility.
Through the EcoCash platform, subcribers are able to purchase airtime for their phones as long as they have money in their EcoCash wallet. The facility offers convenience in that subscribers can buy airtime at any moment thereby averting the disappointment of shops closing or other retailers which sell Econet airtime. The airtime facility also allows subscribers to buy airtime for other people on the Econet network as well
The facility is still to be launched but Econet has already announced that it will launching the platform very soon. Other products that were also said to be coming soon were
- Card Services
- 3rd Party Processing Services
Best mobile money award
Elimination of other Mobile Phone operators
Although the coming in of EcoCash has tremendously revolutionised banking and money transfer, it has often been suggested that the platform tends to lock their customers down by restricting transactions carried out on the platform to Econet subscribers only. This effectively makes it impossible for Econet customers on EcoCash to send money to relatives or settles payments to people that are not on the Econet network.
- Kumbirai Makwembere Technology you can bank on, Zimbabwe Independent, Published: April 5, 2013, Retrieved: January 9, 2015
- EcoCash launches MasterCard debit card, NewsDay, Published: July 31, 2014, Retrieved: January 9, 2015
- EcoCash Diaspora], Retrieved: January 9, 2015
- Econet Wireless Launches EcoCash Payroll, The Chronicle, Published: December 13, 2013, Retrieved: January 10, 2015
- LSM Kabweza AfricaCom 2013: EcoCash platform wins “Best mobile money” award, TechZim, Published: November 14, 2013, Retrieved: January 9, 2015
- EcoCash FAQ's, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Retrieved: January 9, 2015