EcoCash launches MasterCard debit card

ECONET Wireless’ mobile money service EcoCash has launched a MasterCard-enabled debit card, giving subscribers access to paying for goods and services at over
47 million points worldwide.


EcoCash CEO Cuthbert Tembedza (left) launches the new EcoCash debit card yesterday in Harare while Econet Wireless CEO Douglas Mboweni (centre) looks on and MasterCard Worldwide vice-president and area business head Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands Charlton Goredema (right) holds the dummy card
EcoCash CEO Cuthbert Tembedza (left) launches the new EcoCash debit card yesterday in Harare while Econet Wireless CEO Douglas Mboweni (centre) looks on and MasterCard Worldwide vice-president and area business head Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands Charlton Goredema (right) holds the dummy card

The launch of the debit card yesterday came barely a month after Telecel launched its debit card as mobile operators jostled for new streams of revenue in the wake of reduced revenue from voice calls.

EcoCash chief executive Cuthbert Tembedza said the MasterCard-enabled debit card would remove the pain of carrying large sums of cash across the borders.
He said it was the only MasterCard debit card linked to one’s phone.

“It allows you to pay for goods and services at over 47 million points internationally and 10 000 points locally,” Tembedza said.

He said there were over 700 selected agents to be used as distribution points alongside Econet and Steward Bank’s branches. A customer would activate the card using EcoCash menu and can suspend and reactivate the card in the event of loss.

The card costs $2 and the fees ranges between $0,30 and $2,45.

Tembedza said the debit EcoCash MasterCard would help in promoting financial inclusion and visibility of transactions.

MasterCard vice-president and head of Southern Africa & Indian Ocean Islands Charlton Goredema said his company was “pleased to bring our innovation and global presence to this product”.

Econet Wireless chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni said the new product was a result of the mobile operator’s massive investment since its formation 16 years ago. Econet has invested over $1,2 billion in the country since inception in 1998.

Mboweni said the number of debit cards to be issued would be monitored ensuring that “no one who demands the service was denied access”.

“We have been aggressive with our number, but have to be realistic because of the demographic of this nation. We will watch the trend. We are looking at three million, but there is no limit in terms of pushing that up,” Mboweni said.


  1. What currency is the base (Rand or USD, ?? or Zim dollars) for this MasterCard?

    1. The base currency is US$ and you can use this value anywhere on the globe to pay for goods and services in what ever official currency of the land. You may even withdraw cash in RSA, Germany, UK, Canada, USA on ATMs and other card interfaces.

      While Far Cash are playing local and calling their card Gold, Econet zvava mudengadenga kunge carrier yebhazi with their international debit card but they have to pray that the multicurrencyt regime stays for the international dimension of their innovation.

      This is a beauty for local and international students for allowances.

      Well done!!!

      1. With EcoCASH, you will need a MasterCard Switch to allow you to draw money from your wallet using an ECOCASH Card. With TELECASH, you will need Zimswitch to allow you to draw money from your wallet using a TELECASH Card.

        There are more ZIMSWITCH Access Points in Zimbabwe than MasterCard Access Points….

        For those travelling abroad….if you already dont have a Visa Debit Card, this is another option. If you already do..then advantage is when you run out of money whilst abriad, you can ask someone in Zim to send you money via ECOCASH.

        1. Not just from Zim. People from all over the world can send money to an EcoCash customer using World Remit.

        2. Most of the ZimSwitch ATMs are Visa or MasterCard compatible save for those for a few financial institutions but they are working on projects to accept the international cards.

          The FarCash (TeleCash) card only work in Zimbabwe only. EcoCash kwakumberi chaiko zvekuti murume akatibuditsa muCommonwealth where we could have been getting scholarships, getting assistance and participating in global sports arikutoshaya kuti zvirikumbifamba sei.

  2. u guyz u can able 2 take over the country & run it.

  3. Yazviita futi Ecocash. Go go go! Will there be points to take cash when you are outside using the card? Say in S.A.

    1. EcoCash Kwaakumberi

      Ndipo panoshanda kuti Mastercard not Zimswitch .
      WorldRemit strait to EcoCash account, dont have to travel lobg distances to Western Union outlets.
      EcoCash vadhara.

  4. ndakutya ini….. basop ma chip aObama achiswa vanhu pahuma ka na right hand achapinda muno muZim via econet. Mwari pindirai

    1. usatye read your Bible prayerfully the obama chips (correctly called mark of the beast or 666 in the Bible) are not physical. contact your nearest Master Guide found at SDA churches for further info.

    2. @Hameno unenge uri primitive iwe,siyana nesu tisingatyi technology usiyane futhi na democratic president Obama.Kusaziva kufa

      1. Wamugona,the First from Econet.

  5. Econet, is expensive on their MasterCard, transactions. VISA card for every transaction you are billed $0.15-$0.05 these are local transactions and for every transactions across the borders between $1.15 to $ 3.00.

    1. My friend that is even cheaper than the transaction fees offered by bank cards

    2. Where did you get your charges?it looks like your range is the same as theirs from $0.30c to $2.50 and yours is from $0.05 to $3.00.I have been using my barclays visa card the charges are almost within the range depending which country you are dealing with.
      Well done Econet for the innovative products, please bring more tinyadzise vavengi

  6. The great one

    Welldone guys. You have done very well.

  7. Thats the way to go Econet. Well done

  8. Soooo should I close my bank account and come and join you chaps? I am not sure what they have done so well…. I don’t see the point for me

  9. Vana Masiyiwa havarare vachitsvaga mari. Vana Obert Mpofu havarari vachifunga kuti vobira ani! tumabank twavo tuchidonha.ZINARA watch out soon he will loot your coffers and ask for bribes from Road constructors

  10. am jus wondering where protectionism laws are in Zimbabwe, isn’t it that econet is intruding in the retail banking sector..ECONET is a communication service provider right, they have a subsidiary bank, ok…why not call the card Steward mastercard..or econet has to apply for a banking license..i stand to be corrected. is this competition fair?

    1. with advancements in technology barriers/distances between sectors are blurring/diminishing. globalisation. of sectors this time.

    2. it’s called disruptive technology.

    3. Corporates do not use Ecocash. they are mainly used for money transfer and its a problem for Zimbabwean bankers who inconvenience clients because if they were efficient we wouldn’t bother.

  11. Ndanetseka,Econet is just riding on the group synergies that they have created over the years. As an MNO they cant do it like you pointed out, but they are using the Steward Bank MasterCard license. Steward bank already has a bouquet of MasterCards in place, ranging from ,Steward bank MasterCard credit cards and Steward Bank MasterCard debit cards.All these cards will be managed from Steward Bank similar to the gadget financing, EcoCash save,etc………

  12. Start working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

    This is what I do……. >>>>>>>>>>> for more information go to my name

  13. its a very good move Econet currently have starndard chartered gold international visa card,i travel alot for buisness and it dosent work half the time and last month was in london stopped working tried calling thier customer service to no avail the whole weekend.Luckily i have other credit cards would have been stranded.VERY GOOD MOVE COUNT ME IN!!!!

  14. Well done Econet

  15. the world is a global village indeed.

  16. i think thesr mobile phone operators have completely lost tje plot.debbling into finiancial services leaving thre core buisnesd.rather concentrate on improving vpice congesratios etc they continue there fore into core banking territorie. but i tell u banks wont watch by the zidelines they will retaliate.banks should form or finance other forms of comms to extuivhsh this unwarranted intruaion on banks

  17. @Hameno unenge uri primitive iwe,siyana nesu tisingatyi technology usiyane futhi na democratic president Obama.Kusaziva kufa

  18. Make money upto $1 200 a day

  19. When will l be able to buy goods online using these ecocash?

  20. Murambwi wamugona zvako, Econet zvava zvinhu,the First from Econet.


  22. Whilst this is yet another laudable innovation from EcoCash, I am worried about Econet Wireless on the communication side. We need innovations as well to improve the voice communication service. I am sure given Econet’s trademark inspiration they can pull some rabbit out of the bag! CEO Doug Mboweni please get to work on this, never mind the growing pervasiveness and popularity of text services in the form of whatsapp, fb, e.t.c. You just cannot totally replace voice calls especially for business!

  23. givemore kapuyanyika

    If we take a look a step backwards when Ecocash was launched to create a cashless society, they made expensive promotions paying $0.20 transport fares for customers who use Ecocash to pay there bus fares using Ecocash which is average of $0.50 for most suburbs. And today Ecocash launched a debit card which also additional property aiding to promote a cashless society which in technical terms is called plastic money. Its hard to change our perception us as Africans that plastic money is as equally significant as real money in form of notes and coins.

    Before i started using Ecocash as an unemployed buddie in living in a rich surbub of budiriro, I could spend an average of $30 every month that was not accounted for. I hard to do something about my expenditure so I opened a unit trust account with CBZ which awarded me 5 percent interest compounded annually which is very insignificant form of investment ( but a significant form keeping my initial capital).The datvest asset management offices (CBZ) are in borrodale which requires me to set aside at least $2 transport and minimum investment on unit trust is $10.

    This made my idea of saving quite impossible because per week i could get at least an extra $1 which is not even enough to transport me to borrodale. When i was busy struggling to save money under pillow, Ecocash introduced Ecosave which is on Ecocash menu option 8, offering the same interest rate which is 5 percent annually, but with no transport charges for me to go to borrodale because I could do this at the comfort of my home, and accepting as minimum as $1 to be transferred to my Ecosave account.

    Now with this debit card Ecocash has launched, my dreams of saving small units, promoting my financial literacy and financial inclusion has been made easy…its funny how much I save every month because its how much I was wasting away in useless things every month…………….

  24. Willard Mangadella Manga

    ZvaMasiiwa ndezveDenga!! This guy is Godly inspired to change this universe. AMEN.

  25. Johnson Muguda

    Ndikati batayi haichabatika

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *