Discover all charges, tariffs and fees of EcoCash mobile money, and learn about the latest challenges that Zimbabwe’s most popular mobile money has faced in 2020.
EcoCash Mobile Money
EcoCash is a mobile payment provider for Econet customers. It allows users to send money across networks, pay bills, pay for goods and services, top-up Econet prepaid airtime, receive money from abroad, get loans, save money, and make online payments.
Mobile money transactions were on the increase in 2019. According to an article on ITWeb, mobile money transactions hit $11.9 billion in the third quarter of 2019, while EcoCash recorded over 6.5 million subscribers. By March 2020, EcoCash subscribers had increased to 7 million.
EcoCash was launched in 2011 and is operated by Econet Enterprises.
EcoCash Mobile Money Woes
In June 2020, the Zimbabwean government asked mobile money operators to halt operations on the grounds that they were conspiring to sabotage the country’s economic growth. Reports, however, indicate that EcoCash did not suspend its services as directed. The central bank also accused the mobile payment provider of running a Ponzi scheme.
According to an article on Quartz Africa, police raided the EcoCash offices on July 17 with a warrant to seize files containing subscriber and transaction data recorded from January to June 2020. EcoCash challenged the warrant in court over privacy concerns.
The crackdown came at the backdrop of massive economic challenges and a cash crisis in the country. In 2019, the government banned the use of foreign currencies locally and re-introduced the Zimdollar. However, this did not last long since Zimbabweans started re-adopting the US dollar.
To start using EcoCash, you will need an Econet SIM card. Next, visit an EcoCash agent with your original national ID and a copy to register. Once you have an account, you can cash-in from an agent store and pay for goods or pay bills straight from your mobile phone.
EcoCash uses a network of agents that facilitate transactions. In turn, the agents earn a commission. To become an agent, download and fill in the application form provided on the EcoCash website. An EcoCash agent store could be the shop nearest you.
Besides agents, EcoCash has a network of merchants that accept mobile payments over-the-counter when customers buy goods or services. Download and fill the application on the website to register as an EcoCash merchant.
Merchants can cash-out the payments they receive from an agent store or they can transfer the funds to a bank account.
The EcoCash charges are indicated in the table below.
|Minimum||Maximum||Bill Payment||Send Money||Cash Out Registered||Pay Merchant|
|Send Money to Registered Customer||1||5000|
|Send Money to Non-Registered Customer||1||500|
|Airtime Top Up||2||500|
|Bank to Wallet||1||1000||FREE|
|Bank Balance Enquiry||N/A||N/A||1.5|
The following are EcoCash tariffs for billers and merchants. Billers are organisations that receive mobile payments for goods and services through EcoCash.
|Lower Value||Upper Value||Fees ($)|
|Minimum Value||Maximum Value||Charges ($)|
EcoCash enables organisations to make bulk money transfers. For instance, this service enables companies to pay their employees. Also, EcoCash users can link their mobile wallets to their bank accounts. As a result, they can transfer money, check their accounts, pay for goods, and pay bills. Here are the bulk and bank charges, in that order:
|Bank Statement||N/A||Last Transactions||0.3|
EcoCash has played a huge role in driving financial inclusion in Zimbabwe. However, experts have been debating whether mobile money is beneficial during a currency crisis.