EcoCash surpasses $1 billion mark

MORE than $1 billion exchanged hands through the Econet Wireless mobile payment platform in the first nine months to September as the country’s formal banking sector pushes for more financial inclusion, Reserve of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has said.

ACTING BUSINESS EDITOR

Addressing delegates attending a cocktail recently after the launch of a new EcoCash product, Gono said while the number of people using the banking sector remained low due to various factors including lack of confidence and high bank charges, the mobile banking platform had narrowed the gap between financial inclusion and exclusion.

EcoCashSave, the latest value-added product launched by the mobile phone operator under its EcoCash platform, enables customers to move money from their eWallet to an interest-bearing account in a matter of seconds, without the attendant traditional charges.

According to results of the government-commissioned FinScope survey, 40% of adults were financially excluded and only 24% were banked.

“Between January and September this year, EcoCash pushed a total of
$1,1 billion. This represents about 90% of the mobile transactions over the same period. We are in no doubt that this is a measure of success. With this sort of product, we will see 90% of our people, if not 100% being financially included,” Gono said.

Econet agents, who receive $1,15 for every $100,90 cashed in and $2,30 for the same amount cashed, could have also immensely benefited from commission received during the period under review.

Gono said despite this growth, liquidity constraints continued to confront the economy, starving key economic sectors of funding. He added that the launch of EcoCash almost suffered a stillbirth after Zanu PF politicians raised concern that the service could be used to boost financial coffers of opposition parties.

“A lot was said. It was said the product is a political product that will be used by Econet to determine voting patterns against a certain party.

“It was said this was a conspiracy by Econet to send out money to voters and bribe them when the time comes and the governor is part of this conspiracy,” Gono said.

“Various economic formulas were developed which were meant to get the (Zanu PF) politburo and my President (Robert Mugabe) not only to fire the governor, but also to shut down Econet and EcoCash. Of course, our wise leaders were able to see through this mischief.”

14 Comments

  1. Do not fight technological advancements and innovations for the sake of a few disgruntled politicians. Ecocash is the best thing that has ever happened to our financial sector. Thank you Dr Masiiwa for making our lives easier

  2. Of course Econet has become the creative hub of business in the land and their marketing department can go straight ahead and crow long and hard that they are the company of the moment…this is no lie! Of course we hope other companies out there are learning a thing or two about creative marketing..Econet are presently light years ahead of industry and commerce as practiced in Zimbabwe at the moment…Why not be a good corporate citizen and open a school where other business executives can learn from you how you do it like Heiniken is doing in Denmark..you owe it to your colleagues who are fumbling and blundering BLIND in the dark…Well done for showing the LIGHT. Now dont forget about the young scientists out there whose creativity is dying because of lack of sponsorship. How about helping equip laboratories for students in rural areas as well? Only you appear to have answers to almost everything..you geniuses, you!

  3. The cost of transactions is too high for me, I’d rather deal with cash. Plus Econet can track and later report your transactions.

    1. mari yenyu ndeye uwori here mukoma jose

      1. taurai zvamunoziva

        Baba Econet submits a DVD every week to RBZ financial intelligence and ALL banking transactions (local, incoming, outgoing) are monitored by RBZ.Every RTGS transfers go through and are logged at RBZ so where will u hide? hamhuna nyaya.

        If you work against technology munosara makabata cash moga moga vamwe vakuita banking kumba online

  4. Mupfana weBikini

    Thank you ECONET for your creativity and innovation. Let pathetic laggards follow behind.Examples of such laggards are Netone and Telecel.

  5. This a crap of a product meant to benefit the hard core capitalist that own econet. Its a good thing business-wise because its a certain success for econet. However imagine the fate of the banking sector if this EcoCash Saver account goes ahead. Imagine the convinience of just going to a nearby supermarket that serves as an agent and collecting your salary. Soon traditional banks will be a thing of the past. Think of all the banks that we have and all the staff that will lose employment just because of an innovative idea by someperson to make billions of dollars. MR Gono if you support this, then you are a very bad governor

    1. SADC wangu, this is the new age we live in.business is cut throat. econet is just doing what it has to do to survive and that is be innovative. banks also have to do the same. they have to find ways dzekuita lure back pple.pple have lost faith in the banking sector and strive and econet are just beign good businessmen and making the most out the situation. the time has come for innovative thinking. banks should wake up and be innovative enough or risk beign lost in time. thumbs up to strive, 1billion in 9months with xmas yet to kum! hate him or love him, he’s just beign innovative………..

    2. Gono is one guy so obsessed with technology so. He loves to be at the cutting edge of technology in any case as a central banker he has to create an enabling environment. You cant stifle innovattion and technology. if u do that u miss the big opportunity

  6. Masiyiwa ari kuita mari veduwee ndiyo inonzi indiginization manje zvino moti ndewe MDC hameno henyu vamwe vachiita mari.
    Why cant net one or telecel do the same idiots waiting for hand outs from zanu gvt so that they can steal more idiots!!!

  7. People are allowed to be competetive yes. However its government duty, and I bet there is a body called the Competion something something, of Zimbabwe that have to see to it that companies don’t have monopolistic business policies and an unfair competition bias towards itself. Econet was in the telecoms sector. It has millions of subscribers, its ventures into banking, and already it can easily take those millions of subscribers to be it clients just because it has got an unfair competitive advantage. Introducing the EcoCashSaver account compounds the issue and I bet in a few years we will have created a monopoly, that will wipe away, most bank that are in existance right now and not worse the few telecoms companies that we have. Meaning his innovation will come with a loss of hundreds of jobs for other Zimbabweans and I think the government has to step in somehow.

    1. You dont think those jobs will flow from traditonal banks to Ecocash? We can not kill innovation because we want to protect a few seat warmers in banks who should have come up with this innovation by themselves rather than wait for someone from a completely different sector to cut them at the knees in this amateurish fashion? You are apportioning the blame to the wrong players..rather it is the banks who continue to sleep on the job..what products of their own have their brought on to the market to fight the Ecocash onsalught…you guessed it…Zilch. Econet has made banking available to deepest nook and cranny in Zimbabwe and they should be applauded for this!!!

      1. Well said Falcon. I recently looked at the ICT index. Zimbabwe has a better score than India, Kenya, Nigeria and many other countries that are much more economically advanced and which fare better on the Human Development Index. This is one of the only indexes where Zimbabwe features in a respectable light and people like Strive Masiyiwa and his company can take a lot of the credit for that.

        Innovation must always be encouraged. There’s nothing stopping the banks even at this point from coming up with their own tech and competing with Econet for clients.

  8. Banks in Zimbabwe are responsible for their own undoing. A person needs about $800 to incur interest on a savings account in most of them. That’s ridiculous in a country like Zimbabwe where the average person works for a SME. Ecosave saw a gap in the market and filled it while banks were preoccupied with their elitist tendencies. These same banks took money from peoples’ accounts and surrendered it to the Reserve Bank at the whims of that clown – Gideon Gono. Now that the Supreme Court has ordered Standard bank to return money to a client which it had given to the Reserve Bank years ago the banks are going to suffer and they only have themselves to blame. They will all have to pay back the amounts that they stole from their clients. The onslaught from Econet should only be a secondary concern for them at this point.

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