EcoCash goes beyond mobile money

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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

ECONET Wireless’s mobile payment system, EcoCash, has introduced a swipe into EcoCash facility that will allow Zimswitch-enabled card users to transfer money from their bank accounts directly into their wallets through a point-of-sale machine.

BY TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI

The move heeds the requirement by users to incorporate all banks across the country including the five banks that EcoCash was still to integrate for mobile-to-bank transactions.

The facility, which has been made possible through a partnership with Steward Bank, will help EcoCash users to go to any of the bank’s point of sale machines and swipe, enabling them to directly deposit money into an EcoCash wallet.

Speaking at the launch of the facility in Harare yesterday, EcoCash general manager, Natalie Jabangwe-Morris said it was now important to move beyond mobile money and innovate, in order to address the ongoing liquidity and cash crisis challenge being experienced by the customer and replace it with the much-needed convenience.

“We are thinking beyond mobile money. We think mobile money is of yesterday,” she said.

Jabangwe-Morris said swipe to EcoCash was helping everyone connect to EcoCash “including the banks that are laggards that have not connected to EcoCash”

Five out of 19 banks do not allow bank-to-wallet transfers.

Jabangwe-Morris said the facility would lessen the capital requirements on agents, who have since been paralysed by the cash crisis, as they no longer need float amount to begin transacting. They require a Steward Bank point-of-sale machine, she said.

The central bank’s deputy director for National Payment Systems, Josephat Mutepfa lauded EcoCash for the initiative but implored the mobile network to remain vigilant of potential risks that accompany all new innovations.

“The swipe into EcoCash will go a long way to promote convenience, give opportunity to modernise our national payment systems, eliminating the traditional processes that were cumbersome and time consuming.

“Digital innovations pose significant risks to the financial services sector, and like any other risks, it’s a clarion call to make sure that they are managed diligently,” Mutepfa said.

11 COMMENTS

  1. EcoCash / Econet its not a crime that those five banks don’t want to join your platform. It’s just the same when you were refusing to share infrastructure with other telecommunications operators. They don’t trust you period. Even I myself i don’t use EcoCash so why should my bank join your platform

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