Home » Business » EcoCash Transfers Exceed U.S.$4 Billion

Econet Wireless’ mobile money transfer service EcoCash has handled over $4 billion since inception in 2011.

Group chief executive Mr Douglas Mboweni told Parliamentarians during a familiarisation tour of the mobile phone company’s operations yesterday that EcoCash service now boasts 3,5 million mobile money transfer accounts.

The number of people impacted by the EcoCash service represents roughly 53 percent of the adult people in Zimbabwe while the figure for those with mobile money accounts is equivalent to about 27 percent of the population.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency figures released last year, Zimbabwe has 13 million people.

Mr Mboweni said EcoCash has created over 30 000 new jobs and the mobile phone-based accounts opened under EcoCashSave are now rekindling the long lost culture of saving.

“Over $4 billion has been processed by EcoCash to date and about 4,2 million people have been impacted by ecoCash, representing 53 percent of the adult population in Zimbabwe.

“The investment by Econet has made a massive contribution towards financial inclusion considering that its mobile wallet, EcoCashSave, now has over million accounts compared to about 853 000 for all banks combined.

“Our target is that everyone in Zimbabwe must be covered. Why should an individual, be excluded from financial transactions,” the Econet boss asked rhetorically, adding that the money transfer service is now available on roaming.

EcoCash is part of Econet’s innovative products designed to boost revenues at a time growth in revenue from the traditional core business of voice calls is tapering off due to maturity.

To further financial inclusion, Econet has integrated other banks to the EcoCash system with 10 financial institutions now connected. Mr Mboweni said seven of the banks are already active.

Econet has registered tremendous growth since dollarisation in 2009 with subscriber numbers now at 8,5 million in a country that has a population of 13 million citizens.

The mobile network operator has invested a cumulative $1 billion in building its infrastructure. Apart from creating employment, the mobile telecommunications company has contributed in excess of $900 million to national Treasury.

Econet also said it has contributed over $40 million to the universal services fund, which it wants utilised optimally. This comes as other operators are refusing to share infrastructure.

Other financial inclusion services Econet has introduced building on EcoCash include bill payments, bulk payments, virtual debt card compatible with any pay-bay or transaction payment solution, point of sale terminals (2 000), EcoCash payroll, EcoCash loans and online payments. Econet also operates EcoFarmer and EcoHealth services.

But contrary to perceptions, CBZ Bank handled the biggest chunk of funds transferred using EcoCash system, followed by Stanbic Bank and then Econet’s subsidiary, Steward Bank. The rest of others share the balance left by the three.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and holds the entire stake in mobile operator Econet Wireless, EW Capital, Steward Bank, Pentamed Investments, which own 69 percent of Mutare Bottling Company, 84 percent of Transaction Payment Solutions, and 51 percent of Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe.

Source : The Herald