ECONET Wireless Zimbabwe has started paying its staff through EcoCash in what the telecommunications giant says is to spare its employees from the hassle of spending time in bank queues.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
In a statement on Tuesday, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe group chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni said the decision to pay Econet staff salaries through the EcoCash Payroll was intended to offer convenience to its employees.
“Our observation has shown that disbursing staff salaries through banks forces them and their families to spend long periods of time standing in bank queues to access their money. Whereas if we disburse it directly to them, via EcoCash Payroll, they can decide for themselves how much they want to transfer to their banks,” he said.
He said as EcoCash already offered banking services, employees could automatically move funds to their bank wallet, without having to queue in the bank.
He added that the EcoCash Payroll had already been adopted by a significant number of companies in Zimbabwe, including some that are listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
The benefit, Mboweni added was that bank queues could be significantly reduced if other organisations followed Econet’s example as productivity time would not be lost in queues.
The move comes as EcoCash has been deploying its brand ambassadors to educate people on the convenience of using EcoCash to assist people in bank queues on how to move their money and make payments using their mobile phones.
Companies’ using the EcoCash Payroll are on top of the majority of domestic workers in the country already receiving their salaries through EcoCash.
“For example, payments to farmers are being done using EcoCash — to the Grain Marketing Board, Cottco and the tobacco auction floors and too much of the agro and processing industry. NGOs have also been using EcoCash for the past four years to carry out aid-related disbursements to individuals, in mostly rural areas,” Mboweni said, adding that the use of EcoCash Payroll was simple, safe, secure and reliable – with none of the risks associated with moving large sums of money.
He said in order to build on the ecosystem, EcoCash had signed up over 50 000 active merchants and agents ranging from large retail organisations to small informal traders where the use of EcoCash had been widely adopted.
Paying salaries through EcoCash is being widely adopted due to the speed in processing payments as employees generally receive their monies faster than through banking channels.
Experts say the benefit for Econet will be that they will be making massive savings on charges since they are using their own platform as compared to using banks.
Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technologies chairman Jacob Mutisi said paying salaries through EcoCash was the way to go.
“We are a cashless society and that is the way to go. Even private companies are doing the same,” he said.
Mboweni said “cash holdouts”, where people were forced to pay only in cash by merchants and businesses, needed to be eliminated.