Econet to expand EcoCash


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.


  1. Rubbish.
    As long as their fees are still this exorbitant, it remains a pipeline dream.
    Ecocash is expensive people and these guys are abusing the near monopoly status they are enjoying through their high subscriber base.
    Somebody clip their wings plz.

    • Not only are their fees ludicrous but even their econet tariffs of 25c a minute eco-eco, even international calls to Zim from many destinations are cheaper than that but just try to phone your next door neighbour who happens to be an eco user, you will see the fraud and how they are driving prados.

    • True they are too expensive. lt is high time the Govt establishes a similar service thru Post Office at competitive rates so that the profits are directly remmited to treasury and remove the monopoly.

  2. Wataura mdhara. Monopoly is not necessarily the absence of competitors but holding a majority market share that you influence and manipulate the market price unabated like the way Multichoice and dstv are milking locals.
    Those guys are very expensive and need regulation.

  3. Like anyone holding deposits, they should create money the same way banks do through deposits and slash their high fees.
    Bank charges were reduced to zero charges but are still operational.

    That will help create savings as many people are now prefering keeping money in ecocash than banks.

  4. A genuine PR disaster. An arrogant big corporation. Ecocash seriously inconvenienced poeople last few weeks with their networks problems failing to provide cash on demand for days. No apology. Nothing. Also the guys accept cah onto their platform but do not transact in money under $1 which is grosly unfair. If clients have 2 million clients have 0.50 cents in their account that means $1 million ius lodged with Econet at no interest. They remove 0.02 for checking your balance even when their network is responsible for so many aborted transactions. When the story finally appears in the media it has a glossy positive spin to it. Leads us to the question: Why, Newsday, why did you not ask them about Ecocash problems still fresh in memory when you had the chance? Could it be because they are a huge advertiser? Do a follow up story on the points and see how many responses you get. Or maybe you sent your questions through Ecocash and they haven’t been receieved yet because of network problems? Most likely

  5. Ever since they removed the promotion on airtime purchase I remember using it once. The Ecocash product was very good and convenient but something somewhere is not ryt.

  6. Econet may be short changing clients at times but one has to admit that they are offering a useful service through Ecocash. I haven’t forgotten though how they took us for a ride with Ecolife. I’m sure Telecel is paying attention, and will soon be offering good competition resulting in better charges for all and sundry.

  7. I think people airing their dissatisfaction is a welcome development however, suggesting they have their wings clipped whatever tht means is not a progressive’s suicidal, lets bring in facts and figures to these comments as this allows the general populace to compare and contrast..We must also be aware that there maybe enjoying patent rights or whatever the case mayb..have asked ourselves what is telecel, net one oing o increase competition I hope we didn’t clip their wings as others seem to enjoy because they could be offering competition here..

  8. Facts: I spent 3 days trying to retrieve my cash from Ecocash last week with nothing in the house. I was one of a privileged minority who managed to withdraw on he 3rd day. People were pointing at me like: ‘Wow! He managed to make a witghdrawal on Ecocash!’ The fact they are ‘upgrading’ show there are challenges. They did not apologise to my knowledge. Anyone who used Ecocash in the last 2 weeks will know. They don’t have a patent to mobile money at all. Itls too expensive and rigid. Funds under $1 cannot even buy airtime even though it has been uploaded as hard cash onto Ecocash platform. Panyaya yecash hapana sentiment. No bank would deny you a withdrawal of funds for 3 days or more. Anyone who really uses Ecocash and used it recently will know about the issues obtaining on the network. It’s a business arrangement whereby I shud get my cash on demand or at least after resonable delays, communication and apologies.

  9. Guys you might be having issues with Econet charging and locking your monies inside, etc. But No one is restricting other players like Netwone, Africom, Telecel to start their telecash, Netcash, Afri-cash, etc to compete with econet.

    They are charging what they think is the market value of their product. Lets admit it, Ecocash has transformed lives of millions of zimbabweans.

    Question of Greedy on econet part there is no argument about that. Their Call charging structure is so much day light robbery, Econet is stingy, They will never reward anyone for loyalty like telecel or netone where people are calling for almost 0.00C all times. The best Econet could come up with is their FAKE buddie zone which only work 2AM when Budiriro Witches are operating

  10. Zimbos you are now used to price controls. let the market forces play. pure economics must play and not this borrowed economics where the gvt fixes prices for everything. if demand is higher than supply then economics say prices tend to go up. that’s pure economics not what you Zimbos are used to. you are educated but not learned. sometimes I even query if you are educated at all. you pride yourself in having the highest literate rate in Africa but the way you think and act doesn’t show that; not in any way.

    • @Exiled

      Indeed we are educated thats why were talk when things arent what we want them to be and are not always on the streets. The problem is you, because YOU ARE EXILED!!!! you dont know whats happening here. Its not about the government putting price controls but the government sometime between 2009 and 2010 protected these players when we wanted Vodacom to put that competition so we are saying lets have VALUEEEEE!! As for you, LEAVE ZIMBABWE TO US, WE WILL DEAL WITH OUR PROBLEMS BACK HOME.

  11. I personally no longer at all esteem this much talked about econet.
    Try their customer service line and you will get the horror of your life.
    Try the fake buddie zone myth and you will discover it only works after midnyt.

    Econet has long forgotten it came from the people

  12. @bronko
    there is nothing suicidal in regulating huge near monopoly corporates.
    If Econet was operational in US or Uk, they have closed or be fined by now due to strict anti-monopoly and anti-collusion laws. Econet abuse their market position to fix prices through back door collusions and unwarranted exorbitant price fixing antics.
    Where on earth is a phone call 25c per min?
    Worse for a developing country lyk Ours.
    Worse as long as they keep deposits through ecocash, they still have capacity to create credit like banks and avoid those ridiculous charges.

  13. some people seem to have so much against econet,if its stingy,greedy,inefficient and all the bad things u have against them just do the honourble do not do business with them as 4 being a monopoly they a not but they have the largest share of the market because the other guys a asleep,their shareholder do nt run around finding expansion finance and innovating are 2conted,some say if u dont grow u grow small thats the other 2 nworks,pabasa hapadi hope nekupusa ukaita business unotarisira kukura kwete kuita mudiki seNetsomething.

  14. EcoCash is a necessity but Econet needs to make sure that Eco Cash works every time that a subscriber wants to use it. Last month I had a torrid time trying to make three transfers. I ended up withdrawing cash from my wallet and literally carrying the money to the would-be beneficiaries after two solid weeks of trying daily. Please before expanding make sure that EcoCash works efficiently. Nxaa!

  15. I am not taking side. I remember econet wanted to reduce tariffs to 10 cents and an organisation called potraz refused. and some of us said they wanted to sabotage the other players. Big yes. ridiculous charges no. No one has stopped anyone from doing any business and the law of business is that first movers have significant advantages including high charges for products. Let the other organisations join in. What happened to onewallet and sikwama?

  16. Its funny how people go to great lengths lying and trying to paint Econet with a bad brush.I for one got a message from Econet two to three weeks ago advising of this upgrade up to Sept 30.Who then is fooling who here? Econet charges have since been drastically reduced to 8,40 cents per minute, making Econet the cheapest in Zimbabwe.Econet is very creative and innovative hence leaving pathetic laggards like Telecel way behind.Who is to blame here?If the truth is to be told, Econet are streets ahead of Netone and Telecel.If you think Im lying try a Telecel line and u will never phone again- you wont go through. Lastly please lets not post unwarranteed critiscim to Econet nekuti vanogona!Endai kuTelecel kwenyu and leave ecocash kana musingade.This Ecocash has transformed people’s lives.Keep it up Econet! Im yours 4ever.

  17. move over to Telecel. I ‘v moved over. lol. i got such a message on my econet line last week And i surely mived over. im loving it

  18. The ecocash problems are temporary because of the upgrading. Thank you econet for such innovations, now I can easily sent money to amai kumusha.

  19. Guys, I don’t dispute some of you guys undying love for Econet. Granted, love is blind. Some of us are not telecom fanatics. We use Econet/Telecel/NetOne to communicate, send and receive money. Business. The ‘upgrade’ has been a nightmare. If Econet has their way we shouldn’t respond to their article above. This issue is in the public domain. When they say they have millions of customers, we are part of that clientele and we believe in value for money regardless of how learned the shareholders of Econet are. They are nothing without customers. You don’t need a degree in 1997 to understand Masiyiwa’s battle with Mujuru and Chimutangwende. Come 2013 that’s how their attitude has changed. The problem is a lot of people don’t take their own jobs and services seriously. Ecocash has inconvniencd us and we use it to receive funds sent by customers. We might as well resort to traditional banks. We are allowed to respond to this article bcoz Econet put it in the public domain unless they were just speaking to the wind. Some of us don’t mind living in our own country and fighting for our rights. You shouldn’t be a telecoms expert to send and receive money or make/receive a call. So many Zimbos are not educated and they are the happiest people around and they love Telecel and NetOne.

  20. Reader you hate econet and you are not objective.I challenge you to do a thorough research on how Econet has changed people’s world.

    you are not well informed.Your opinion is based on hearsy.

  21. If ECOCAH is expensive 4 u,stay on ur traditional ways,its not like u cant use them.Remember time is money.Convinience is bought.Its abt wat matters to you,money or time.

  22. If ECOCAH is expensive 4 u,stay on ur traditional ways,its not like u cant use them.Remember time is money.Convinience is bought.Its abt wat matters to you,money or time.Gr8 idea from econet,its an example of how to use technology to affect people’s lives.

  23. Point is, they are outrageously expensive and there doesnt seem to be any justification other than that they do it coz they can – no competition. Corporate arrogance at its best.

  24. This story is in the public domain. Also I think those that actually use Ecocash will know intimately about the current problems. I have a right to respond and insiste on an apology which should be necessary in this case. What people’s lives have been changed? Good for them. Just that they have a core business here and they have to deliver the goods. They certainly haven’t changed MY life. Get angry all you want but facts are stubborn: Ecocash has been experiencing some challenges which should be acknowledged. As word of mouth goes with odinary people Telecel and NetOne have better goodwill. I can’t speak for The multimillionaires of upmarket surbubs in Harare who don’t live by that simple english primciple: Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. If you are trying to exclude me from my right os response to a matter in the publix domain resort to other means. I don’t indulge in hero-worship or creature worship though I have a good impression of Strive Masiyiwa and the other guys. As a Newday regular reader I hope I can be allowed to respond and a right to free speech. I have avoided abusive language and articulated facts as I see them. I don’t regret responding to this article or anything I said. Whats wrong with asking for an apology? Last I checked Econet and Ecocash were offering a basic public service.

  25. Send money home. 10% charge. Moneygram ?

    Compare for yourself with ecocash.

    Netone, telecel. Try buying the 90/200 minutes¿

    Being stingy.
    Joshua Nkomo scholarship.

    Capernaum trust.

    Question of opinion. “is it true that a prophet has no honour in his land?”

    cost issues.
    Cheap things are expensive, i guess expensive things are cheap.

    Convinience…use the cabs platform if you stay in mahusekwa rural. You get your money quickly¿

    Difficulties at the moment…
    Its an upgrade, regular users will appreciate.

    Thank God for real charity, and business service from Econet.

    • My advice, if econet is expensive, dont complain, just don’t use them. These ecocash innovations are what Netone should have thought of long back and bring money direct into government but varikuitei? Econet is a private company , out to make money saka why do you think they will be cheap?

  26. Hands up to you Ecocash without you life could be so difficult to our parents in the rural areas, paying our bills tichimhanyisa basa tiri mu office. Thanx to Strive Masiwa, you are the greatest.

  27. Call a spade a spade. Ecocash is very important but we have aright to an efficient service, moreso because its very expensive. The best they can do is to give us value for money. I am a regular user of ecocash but believe me the service is pathetic. No network most of the time but i have no choice cos its only them who are offering the service and they have the highest no. of subscribers. But please improve

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