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Wednesday, Feb 19th

Econet launches Ecocash Ta

Econet launches Ecocash Ta.

Econet Wireless has introduced a tap and go payment service to enable customers to buy from vendors and agencies without the need for cash.

The payment system Ecocash Ta! was launched last week to promote a cashless society in Zimbabwe.

"Cash is still an important means of payment in Zimbabwe, but it's no longer safe and convenient to use," said Sure Kamhunga, Econet Global communications director.

Kamhunga said before EcoCash, the majority of Zimbabweans were not banked and were excluded from the financial services sector of the economy.

It is estimated that Zimbabwe has as much as US$7,4 billion circulating outside the formal system, and according to Kamhunga, "Econet wireless's Ecocash Ta wants to tap on that market. It is set to benefit vendors selling airtime, fruits and vegetables."

"The diversified group has propped up financial inclusion in the economy, by incorporating the previously unbanked population," he said.

Econet's latest offering has been introduced at a time the company reported a 41% drop in profits,

weighed down by significant tariff cuts, prohibitive regulatory measures and a deflationary economic environment in the country.

Kamhunga said 500 vendors, merchants and agencies have already signed up for EcoCash Ta in Harare and added that Econet is expected to roll out the second phase in Bulawayo and then proceed on to other parts of the country.

Econet wireless Zimbabwe Chief executive officer, Douglas Mboweni concurred with Kamhunga. He however, said the payment system not only for vendors, "even retailers such as supermarket chains and butcheries can sign up for EcoCash Ta!

"Ecocash Ta uses technology called Near Field Communication which enables our clients to tap their cellphone against a merchant or vendor's enabled micro point-of-sale device and the value of the transaction will be automatically deducted from the client's EcoCash account," sadi Mboweni.

"No PIN is required when paying for purchases of up to $3, and any transaction above $3 requires a PIN up to a daily limit of $1000," he added.

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