Telecash’s 600,000 subscribers means its growing almost as fast as EcoCash did

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telecashA few days ago, Telecel’s General Manager, Angeline Vere disclosed that the company’s mobile money service that was launched 5 months ago, Telecash, now has 600,000 registered subscribers. This is an impressive number in  a number of ways, but mostly in comparison to Econet’s EcoCash, which has generally been regarded a success.

Consider for example that in its 5th month (February 2012), EcoCash had about 800,000 registered subscribers, which is just 200k more than TeleCash has now. The number is impressive especially when you think about the constraints that Telecel has to operate under, most of them self inflicted ofcourse, but constraints all the same.

The company doesn’t look to be making much in terms of revenue, so there’s no huge marketing budget driving this adoption. Then there’s the outstanding shareholding issues which is said to be the reason the company’s CEO still can’t get a work permit, more than a year after assuming the post. And there’s also the issue of top executives resigning (or being fired) suddenly.

Of course we also have to consider that Telecel has enjoyed introducing a product that the market is already familiar with, thanks to Econet’s massive marketing effort when it launched. In fact, to take advantage of this, Telecel deliberately made sure the their product worked exactly as EcoCash did.

Still, without such figures, it’s easy to assume Telecash might not doing well, and you would be wrong.



  1. Alu says:

    You forgot the red-clad Telecash youth militia that descended on the Harare and Bulawayo (and probably other cities) CBDs signing people up – Econet never had that. When they signed me on Telecash, I didn’t even need to provide a copy of my ID – the kid just took a photo of it with his phone and that was enough. Five minute right there on the street. that’s all it took. No queue, no photocopies. So the fast adoption to me is no surprise. They’ve done well. Usage is gonna be a big problem though – I’ve done Telecash transactions at TM supermarkets a few times, and the agents often tell me I’m one of VERY FEW users. One time I cashed in at a CBD branch at 3pm and the guy at the counter told me I was the FIRST for that day – so they’ve got their work cut out for them there. They need to offer big bonuses for buying airtime with Telecash – that strategy got me using Ecocash, a product which I was very vocally sceptical about when it started.

    1. Evans says:

      True, surely there should a bonus for me to use Telecash for airtime purchase considering that they save at least 10c per $1 which is normally the profits for airtime vendors!

  2. Anonymous says:

    the writer should get his/her facts right, the mobile money initiative came from Netone as one wallet. it was poorly marketed and Econet saw the business opportunity in mobile money transfers which idea they copied and marketed aggressively

    1. There’s nowhere in the article where I say Econet started with mobile money in Zimbabwe. The correct order was actually NetOne, Telecel and then Econet but I don’t think any of these copied form the other. Mobile Money was a success elsewhere in Africa way before any of the 3 locally launched.

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