Econet partners WorldRemit to enable diaspora remittances to EcoCash wallets

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Econet Wireless Services and WorldRemit today launched a new international remittance service to enable anyone around the world to transfer money to an EcoCash wallet in Zimbabwe. Using the service, anyone in the 35 markets that WorldRemit operates from  (including US, UK, South Africa (See update below), Australia, Canada) will be able to transfer money directly into and EcoCash wallet. The transfers will be made using credit or debit cards via the WorldRemit website here: worldremit.com.

The announcement of the new service was made today at a function in Harare where executives from both EcoCash and WorldRemit spoke. EcoCash via WorldRemit is not exactly new. We started noticing the EcoCash logo on the WorldRemit website at least a couple of months ago. Today just shows the two companies are now ready to start talking about it.

As with other remittance products in the Zimbabwean market, transfers will only be inbound into Zimbabwe and not outbound. A regulatory restriction from back in the Hyperinflation days.

WorldRemit already has a similar partnership with mobile operators in Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia and other parts of Africa.

Speed, convenience & the competition
The two companies are banking on the convenience & speed of the service in comparison with existing competition; the sender is not limited by time as they can send money any time of the day or night from the WorldRemit website and have it delivered instantly to an EcoCash mobile phone wallet in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is not fully 24 hours yet though because if the recipient receives the money at night, they’ll have to pray an agent is open, or wait for the next day. Still this slight inconvenience is nothing compared to existing options; EcoCash has about 13,000 agents right now.

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world-remitTalking about existing competition EcoCash CEO Cuthbert Tembedza said at the event that the bulk of money coming into Zimbabwe is via informal means and therefore they don’t consider other money transfer companies as competition but as potential partners. WorldRemit, explained Tembedza, is only one of the first partners they are signing on but will be signing on more partners in the coming months. Maybe Mukuru.com will be the next partner to be announced, who knows?

Lower Transfer Fees than existing options
They are also banking on the lower cost of transferring money. WorldRemit will charge around  5% (it’s different for every source country) for transfers while EcoCash will not charge the recipient any additional fees for the transaction. Western Union charges around 10%.

What about what they launched in South Africa last year
If you have been following Econet’s international remittances developments then you will realise that they last year they launched something for the South Africa – Zimbabwe corridor, and you are probably wondering if the two are linked. We asked Econet and the EcoCash CEO said they were the same thing and that they are always working on a lot of things internally. We’re not sure what exactly that means but we’re starting to suspect that the South Africa thing didn’t go too well. if it had, today would have been an announcement of further corridors being launched.

That said, we’re happy about this product. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have a relative in the US, UK, South Africa, Canada or Australia. For those people this is great news. no more queuing at the Western Union or Moneygram counter at the bank. Both for the sender and recipient. This is a big deal.

Here are some more pictures from the announcement:

Update: At the launch, Econet and WorldRemit said senders could send money from 35 countries. This was not correct as it turns out it’s 32 countries. Or 27 if you count the countries in the list:
ecocash-diaspora

17 Comments

  1. Evans says:

    I wonder why there are no comments on this thread, this is a real deal and a game changer.

    1. Gumbura says:

      Whats the real deal you are talking about,when there is not even 1 African Country where you can remit money from?

  2. pindile mhandu says:

    I went to the wrld remit site and they say :

    Send Money Online to Zimbabwe
    Unfortunately money transfer is not available for your country so far.
    We are working around the clock to make this service available for you soon.

    unless there is a secret button i have to press to do it.

  3. pindile mhandu says:

    This is however a big deal. I wonder why FNB south africa has not used this channel. Serious convenience. No bus drivers and 10% commission and no queueing in banking halls.

  4. Gweja says:

    Not yet available from SA. Big deal though.

    1. Just curious. WorldRemit won’t let you register or you can register but can’t send money? We noticed South Africa is on the lst of countries you can send money from.

  5. mcsober says:

    nt graftng yet in sa

  6. mellisa says:

    convenience at its best, I like how econet is not charging anything, simply offering convenience

  7. Victor says:

    Wondering…. How do you send FROM Zimbabwe.??

    1. You can’t. Reserve Bank regulations

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ish has just gotten real…

  9. painrude says:

    this is a typical samsaung ,android vs apple game affair , econet fanboys maoko mudenga and telecows jus suck it … econet is the best

  10. Jack Mpofu says:

    Mukuru.com all the way. When will Ecocash partner with them? The rest is hot air

    1. Baba Vakai says:

      But 10% is way too much in this day and age

  11. hechoko says:

    Cn u pliz explain to me abt “cashout “from yo agencies bcz i send money wthin zim a wk ago nd upto nw my family are crying???pliz nekuti vakaudzwakuti hapana mari parizvino saka kudinivo ikoko,,, eishhh

  12. Tetaz clear says:

    I find this ludicrous to say the least!!!!!! yu say world remit world which world. I wish someone can tell me why it has to be the diasporans sending money to zim we also want to send money to USA, CANADA UK where we have got children in universities and relations who find it hard their who might need help. i don’t like the idea of thinking that its only people in zim who need to send money. As it us from diaspora when we are here we want to send money to our families over there but one can’t do it because the service says world remit but its a very funny product which is not user friendly at all. Let me tell yu something there are people in diaspora who cant make ends meet not because of their own making but because of lack of papers or other health reasons or lack of jobs and they need us here to send them echo cash or echo pound or echo diaspora. So hey some one if you reading this econnet chief executive or manager whoever please carry this message the the king. let me make this clear'” I PERSONALLY IWOULD LIKE TO SEE A WORLD REMIT WHICH GIVES US IN ZIMBABWE TO ABLE TO ALSO REMEMBER OUR LOVED ONES IN DIASPORA AND SEND THEM SOMETHING FPR CHRISTMAS” THANK YOU FOR RECTIFYING THIS OTHERWISE DONT ABUSE THE WORD “WORLD REMIT”

  13. Tetaz clear says:

    I find this ludicrous to say the least!!!!!! yu say world remit world which world. I wish someone can tell me why it has to be the diasporans sending money to zim we also want to send money to USA, CANADA UK where we have got children in universities and relations who find it hard their who might need help. i don’t like the idea of thinking that its only people in zim who need to be send money ????/. As it is some of us are from diaspora when we are here we want to send money to our families over there but one can’t do it because the service says world remit but its a very funny product which is not user friendly at all. Let me tell yu something there are people in diaspora who cant make ends meet not because of their own making but because of lack of papers or other health reasons or lack of jobs and they need us here to send them echo cash or echo pound or echo diaspora. So hey some one if you reading this econnet chief executive or manager whoever please carry this message the the king. let me make this clear’” I PERSONALLY IWOULD LIKE TO SEE A WORLD REMIT WHICH GIVES US IN ZIMBABWE TO ABLE TO ALSO REMEMBER OUR LOVED ONES IN DIASPORA AND SEND THEM SOMETHING FPR CHRISTMAS” THANK YOU FOR RECTIFYING THIS OTHERWISE DONT ABUSE THE WORD”WORLD REMIT”

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