Eco-cash tariffs criticised
VALUE ADDED SERVICESBy BiztechAfrica - Oct. 4, 2011, 2:06 p.m.
By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network, Econet Wireless, has launched its mobile money transfer service called Eco-cash, joining the rush to tap into Zimbabwe’s unbanked market.
At an analyst briefing on Monday, officials said the company had deployed 500 agents throughout the country. They also announced partnerships with Zimpost, which has over 300 offices countrywide, TN Holdings, which has presence in major centres in the country, and also with 300 independent agents.
At the launch, Econet chief executive Douglas Mboweni said the company considers the unlocking of access to financial services to be a "serious need".
“The banking population in Zimbabwe is very low, with only 14 people in every 1 000 being banked.
“Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate is at 70%, yet with that, we only have 1.4% of the population being banked,” Mboweni said.
He said between 60% to 65% of people reside in rural areas in Zimbabwe and that figure would remain stable for the foreseeable future.
Eco-cash immediately came under fire for being too expensive compared to regional competitors.
Financial Express compared Econet’s service Safaricom of Kenya’s M-PESA:Where EcoCash will charge percentages of the money being transferred, M-PESA has fixed charges for transaction ranges.
To transfer US USD200 to an EcoCash subscriber, a subscriber will be charged US4. For the same transaction, an M-PESA subscriber will be charged US 30 cents.
To transfer USD200 to a non-EcoCash subscriber, a subscriber will be charged USD14. For the same transaction, an M-PESA subscriber will be charged US $1.80.
To withdraw USD200 cash, an EcoCash subscriber is charged USD6. An M-PESA subscriber is charged USD1.70 for the same transaction.
However, Econet’s mobile cash transfer transaction facility does not oblige a subscriber to open a bank account and the service is across various mobile networks.
State-owned NetOne already runs a similar service titled OneWallet while Telecel launched its own service called Skwama in partnership with a local financial institution, Kingdom Bank.
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
Safaricom offers free GoogleSafaricom now offers Google Free Zone, a new product that allows Safaricom mobile users to access Google+, Gmail and Google Search without incurring data charges. Read More
Safaricom marks 7 years of M-PESASafaricom is marking the 7th anniversary of the launch of its successful mobile money transfer service, M-PESA. Read More
SA’s Net1 launches MVC solution in USSouth African-based Net1 Mobile Solutions, a business unit of Net 1 UEPS Technologies, has launched its Mobile Virtual Card (MVC) technology with selected partner, Pay in Private, in the United States. Read More
NSE introduces enhanced notification system via mobile, emailThe Nigerian Stock Exchange has enhanced its notification system, with alerts to be sent to investors by phone or email each time they buy or sell a security. Read More
Digital music worth $9bn this yearMahindra Comviva and Ovum Consulting predict that India, Africa, Latin America and South East Asia will be exceptional markets for digital music growth. Read More
MasterCard, Etisalat celebrate award-winning partnershipEtisalat Group, the leading telecoms operator in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, has celebrated an enduring partnership with MasterCard that has brought award-winning technologies to the market. Read More
Airtel Kenya to empower farmers via mobileAirtel Kenya has established a Farmer's Information System to provide real-time information to Kenyan farmers through its mobile network in the country. Read More
MTN, ECOBANK expand cardless mobile money ATM servicesGhana's leading telecommunications provider, MTN and Ecobank, The Pan African Bank, have partnered to extend cardless ATM services to Ecobank ATMs across Ghana. Read More
Annual wagers on mobile casinos, poker to exceed $60bn in 2018A new report from Juniper Research has found that annual wagers via mobile handsets and tablets on casino-type gambling and poker games are expected to reach $62 billion globally by 2018. Read More
MoboFree gets growth funding from eVentures Africa FundNigeria’s MoboFree has raised significant growth funding from Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) in order to expand its local presence in Lagos and Accra, start new offices in East Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.