Econet in a remittance first for Zimbabwe

Econet group chief executive, Douglas Mboweni

Zimbabwe’s largest telecommunications and technology company, Econet Wireless, has achieved an Africa first by opening two free remittance corridors into the country, completely eliminating the cost to both sender and receiver.

Econet has partnered with its sister company, Sasai Money Transfer, to enable individuals and companies in the United Kingdom and South Africa to send money into Zimbabwe free of charge, starting today (May 2, 2024). The receiver also cashes out of their EcoCash wallet for free. 

International remittances attract a charge of up to 15% for the sender, while the receiver is charged 3% when cashing-out. 

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe chief executive, Douglas Mboweni explained that the latest decision is aimed at helping Zimbabweans to weather the acute challenges caused by the drought. 

The country recently declared a national disaster over a drought caused by the climate event known as El Niño, which has left more than 2.7 million people in need of food aid. 

“We hope Zimbabweans in the Diaspora will use the savings to send more money home to their families,” Mboweni said. 

“The majority of remittances to Zimbabwe are conducted through these two main corridors (the UK and South Africa). We don’t have to pay any third parties on those corridors, because we rely on a sister company in the group, which agreed to help out,” he said.

He said he hopes the move by Econet will encourage other companies facilitating remittances into Zimbabwe to reduce their fees, noting that it was time that remittances into Africa in general were brought down “to assist with the continent’s economic development agenda”. 

Mboweni  added  that the initiative was in support of government efforts to increase diaspora remittances coming into the country through formal channels.

Econet's extensive EcoCash agent network ensures that even people in remote rural areas have access to low-cost financial services, reducing the need for recipients to travel long distances to collect cash.

Econet said Remittance transfers will be facilitated through the EcoCash US dollar wallet, which is accessible by dialling *153# on an EcoCash registered Econet line. 

Senders in the UK and South Africa can access Sasai Money Transfer by downloading the Sasai Money Transfer App on the Google Play Store and on the App Store.

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