2 weeks ago 

As local languages are added to EcoCash, lets hope an update of its App is coming

Listen to that…..silence. It seems like besides launching a group savings product, EcoCash has been rather quiet lately. I say this not because I was a fan of the product blitzkrieg that its parent company Econet launched on its mobile money competition last year.  Far from it. Some of those EcoCash related products weren’t inspiring, but […]

3 weeks ago 

ZB Bank going the Steward Bank route, makes a call for agent bankers

Towards the end of 2014, Steward Bank, the Econet Wireless owned financial institution, introduced the Agent banking model which allowed selected mobile money agents to offer some services in line with mainstream banking. This model allows any Steward Bank account holder to get certain services from the mobile money agent, that would only be accessible from […]

1 month ago 

Mobile money continues to pick up pace, overlaps into every financial service. What’s next?

This past week, we got to sift through the latest figures on Zimbabwean telecoms from the industry regulator, POTRAZ. These sector performance numbers are provided regularly and even though we’ve always been whinging about the late delivery (This latest report is for October – December 2014), the data provided is a great market indicator. Which brings […]

1 month ago 

Zim telecoms stats from POTRAZ show decline in mobile revenue, internet penetration

The national economy is in a really bad state, and it’s not surprising that those nasty effects are now chewing into the telecoms sector in a big way. A report published by FinX quotes the most recent Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) Sector Report which has key highlights for the fourth quarter […]

2 months ago 

DStv Zimbabwe suspends payments via EcoCash, Telecash payments also disabled

DStv Zimbabwe has just announced that it has suspended payments through mobile money service EcoCash, something that ought to put a damper on any attempts at beating holiday queues through m-commerce convenience. According to a post published on the DStv Facebook page, this temporary disruption has been caused by technical challenges and it is indefinite. […]

2 months ago 

Some quick facts on the Econet EcoShopper service and App

After all the promises made and all the work being put into its mobile money service, EcoCash bound to happen eventually. Econet is now giving online retailing a shot with the new service and application called EcoShopper that was launched today. How do I access the service? There is an Android app EcoShopper (which is obviously powered […]

3 months ago 

POTRAZ and RBZ crack whip on operators, move to lower mobile money tariffs

Like a lot of other Value added services, mobile money services have always had more than one regulator monitoring activities around service delivery and in a lot of respects, protecting the consumer. Now, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and POTRAZ (Post and Telecoms Regulatory Authority) are out to offer some form of relief to mobile […]

3 months ago 

Steward Bank opens flagship branch, unveils Smart ATMs integrated with EcoCash

Last night, Steward Bank, the financial services subsidiary of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, officially opened its flagship branch at Eastgate Mall in Harare. Speakers at the event included the new Steward Bank CEO Lance Mabondiani and Japhet Aritho, the head of EcoCash. They both highlighted the focus of tapping into Econet’s tech and financial services strengths […]

3 months ago 

WorldRemit raises $100 million for global expansion, eyes mobile money as a key

It’s been a little less than a month since WorldRemit announced its partnership with the MTN Global Group. Now, the money remittances and transfer service has just announced that it has raised $100 million in a Series B funding round. Lats year the company raised $40 million from Accel Partners, a Silicon Valley Venture Capital […]

4 months ago 

Zim developer comes up with EcoCash ledger app to monitor m-money transactions

Sometime last year we wrote about the M-Ledger Android application that had been launched by Safaricom as an “accounting service” for the mobile money service M-Pesa. It was the product of a Kenyan startup that was working with the leading Kenyan mobile network. Noticing the relevance of such a service for Zimbabweans who use mobile money […]

4 months ago 

EcoCash tariffs reduced slightly. Who’s benefiting from this move though?

You probably saw it in a couple of adverts yesterday; EcoCash tariffs have been reduced. Not that the advert said it explicitly, it just listed tariffs effective 1 February 2014.These are only slight reductions, something that probably explains why this wasn’t promoted extensively. The new tariffs are in the table below. The adjustments have largely […]

4 months ago 

Mama Money to launch SA-to-Zimbabwe money transfers to Textacash wallets

You might have heard that a new South Africa to Zimbabwe remittance service called Mama Money is coming in the next couple of weeks. The key problem that Mama Money identified is that it’s still very expensive for migrants in the country to remit back home so they are bringing a new and somewhat anti-capitalist thinking to […]

4 months ago 

All bets are on mobile money & data as SMS declines and telecoms shifts

Numbers don’t lie, especially in business, and when the right sort of numbers are going up it becomes a celebrated truth. From the surface the Zimbabwean mobile telecoms scene is in pretty great shape. In a conclusion to the quarterly performance report POTRAZ, the industry regulator, spelled out how the third quarter of 2014 noticed a […]

4 months ago 

Lance Mambondiani appointed Steward Bank acting CEO

Lance Mambondiani has been appointed the Acting CEO at Steward Bank as his boss, Kwanele Ngwenya leaves the organisation at the end of the month. Earlier this month several publications carried the story of Ngwenya’s exit with some referring to it as less ceremonious. Mambondiani’s appointment was approved today by the Reserve Bank and communicated by the Chairman of the bank, Oluwatomisin Fashina. […]

5 months ago 

Local banks collapse & sputter: Are mobile money wallets & Bitcoin our safe havens?

It’s just days into the year and it certainly looks like the financial services sector is going to go through a very rough spell in 2015. Yesterday Allied Bank, a Zimbabwean commercial bank closed shop while another institution which is still on the mend, Steward Bank, waved goodbye to its CEO.  This isn’t even half of […]

5 months ago 

The noise & signal around the departure of Steward Bank CEO, Kwanele Ngwenya

How the resignation of Steward CEO, Kwanele Ngwenya, has been treated in the media and by sources inside the company itself is quite curious. At least 3 reputable media companies (The Source, Financial Express (email news so can’t link)  and The Herald) reported since yesterday that Kwanele Ngwenya had been forced out of the bank apparently for corporate […]

5 months ago 

Want to buy your ZESA prepaid electricity through EcoCash? Try recharge.co.zw

Whenever we talk about the issue of paying for your ZESA prepaid electricity everyone remembers how Econet was shut out from an integration with ZESA for mobile money payment leaving One Wallet as the only option for the many people used to mobile money transactions. Thankfully someone has worked on a solution that will give you […]

5 months ago 

As Standard Chartered closes branches should it consider a relationship with an MNO?

The Zimbabwean financial services sector has never been for the fickle.It takes a lot to survive in the territory, what with all the turmoil and uncertainty that characterises the industry. Just ask any of the institutions that have survived the local financial services roller coaster. Standard Chartered Bank, one of the surviving institutions is the one that […]

7 months ago 

EcoCash, Western Union consummate remittances relationship

Earlier today we attended the official launch of a partnership between EcoCash Diaspora and Western Union. The service which was already reflective on the EcoCash menu yesterday, had been on the cards for months now. Western Union is the latest remittances firm to partner with EcoCash after a similar arrangement was penned with WorldRemit earlier […]