ECONET Wireless says it is undertaking a multi-million dollar expansion of its mobile money service, EcoCash, in response to its growth since its launch in September 2011.
Report by Business Reporter
In a statement, Econet Services chief executive officer Darlington Mandivenga said the expansion would allow the company to launch new services on the EcoCash platform.
It is anticipated that the expansion would make the EcoCash system four times bigger than it is currently.
Remittances are among the most important sources of foreign currency inflows for Zimbabwe, according to South African advocacy group People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (Passop).
Figures released last year by Passop showed that about R6,8 billion (or $847 million) was sent to Zimbabwe in 2011 through various means. Mandivenga said Econet customers were no longer using the EcoCash system to simply send money to relatives in the rural areas at month-ends, but also using it to make different payments, including salaries.
Engineers from the company’s suppliers have been in Zimbabwe for several weeks upgrading all the systems which is expected to be completed at the end of the month.
Mandivenga also said Zimbabweans in South Africa were now able to send money through EcoCash.
He, however, said the service was available from a few limited sites in that country until the full upgrade in Zimbabwe was complete.
“If we open up the service completely, we will have complete congestion. We have to wait two or three weeks,” said Mandivenga.
He said the excitement in South Africa was very high as EcoCash solves the problems people have had for many years when it comes to sending money home.