Eco-cash tariffs criticised
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| 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
Azimo launches instant Vodafone M-Pesa transfers from EuropeAzimo, the online money transfer service, has announced that customers across Europe can now send money instantly to the mobile “eWallets” of M-PESA’s 19 million subscribers in Kenya. Read More
Airtel introduces free Twitter accessUntil 15th January 2015, Airtel Kenya customers can enjoy free access to Twitter on their mobile devices. Read More
Tigo music platform set to boost Ghanaian artistsTigo’s new music platform is set to boost artists and give music lovers real value for money. Read More
Apollo Hospitals, Airtel seal telemedicine dealTwo Indian giants, Apollo Hospitals and Airtel Nigeria, have struck a deal designed to bring affordable health care to Nigerians and Airtel’s Premier customers. Read More
Millicom partners Deezer to bring Tigo Music to 5 African marketsTelecoms and media firm Millicom has announced an extension of its partnership with music streaming service Deezer to take its Tigo Music service to five markets in Africa. Read More
Airtel Money offers KRA mobile tax payment servicesBharti Airtel has partnered with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to offer Kenyan citizens an opportunity to pay their taxes through Airtel Money. Read More
Embracing mCommerceThere’s a word on the lips of everyone in the know these days, and that word is “mCommerce”, says Red & Yellow. Read More
Airtel Money launches new partnership with MOGASAirtel Uganda and MOGAS have officially unveiled their new partnership that allows customers to pay for any MOGAS products and services using Airtel Money at their 38 stations across Uganda. Read More
Econet launches Connected Car serviceEconet has launched yet another revolutionary product branded the Econet Connected Car. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie
Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year.SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter
SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.