MOBILE telecommunications company Econet Wireless is finalising a new, innovative EcoCash platform that will see an increase in the volume of remittances to Zimbabwe.
Report by Staff Reporter
In a statement yesterday, Econet said the platform, which has been under construction in the last nine months, would allow Zimbabweans living in South Africa, who use Econet Wireless South Africa Call Home SIM cards, to load money into their cell phones and send it instantly to an Econet number.
The recipients in Zimbabwe would then be able to cash out the money at any EcoCash agent, according to Econet Services’ chief executive officer Darlington Mandivenga.
Econet, he said, was currently working on a soft launch of the new service with its partners in South Africa in selected areas.
The launch has been scheduled for September.
“Once the amount reflects on a cellphone in Zimbabwe, the beneficiary can cash out using any of the nearly 7 000 EcoCash agents countrywide,” Mandivenga said.
“Our research suggests that by making it quicker and easier to send small amounts, of as little as R5, at any time, we will see a massive inflow of money, just like we see on EcoCash here at home.”
He said EcoCash remittances would be the biggest source of foreign currency in the economy by the end of the year.
The platform would also be used to get remittances from Botswana and Zambia by the end of the year before it expands to the United Kingdom and the United States.
Statistics show that Zimbabwe accounts for the bulk of the cross-border remittances market, and more than R6,7 billion, which translates to 60% of total Sadc remittances, is estimated to be sent to Zimbabwe from South Africa each year.