Without any widely adopted internet payments platform, despite the existence of Vpayments, and some EcoCash internet payment trials, eCommerce in Zimbabwe is struggling to take off. But there are startups that are moving in early regardless, positioning themselves for when the Zimbabwean will rely on the internet to shop.
Barclays will be launching its mobile banking application Hello Money, in Zimbabwe this month. The announcement was made as part of the launch of new ATMs by the company a few days ago. Hello Money will allow Barclays account holders to transfer money to a Barclays account or to an account at another banking institution, airtime top up, mini statements and balance enquiries.
We’re just from a press conference where Econet Wireless and Stanbic Bank announced the integration of Econet’s mobile money transfer platform, EcoCash, with Stanbic’s banking system allowing EcoCash subscribers to transfer money from and to their Stanbic accounts. Selected branches of Stanbic will also act as EcoCash Super Agents allowing EcoCash agents and customers to do EcoCash transactions.
As you may know, Econet came out yesterday to publicly accuse CABS, ZimSwitch and Kevin Terry of using the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe to fight Econet’s mobile money product EcoCash. The CABS MD, according to campaigning against EcoCash so he can push his own mobile money/banking product, Textacash. Textacash you will remember is basically an implementation of ZimSwitch’s Shared Services platform. And Zimswitch is owned by more than just CABS.
Press releases are usually filled with exaggerated self-praise and sometimes some subdued remarks subtly attacking the competition. Not with today’s press release from Econet Wireless which we posted earlier. The company has fired a salvo at CABS, ZimSwitch and Kevin Terry accusing them of using the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe to fight the EcoCash mobile money service.
A senior Econet Wireless executive, Mr Darlington Mandivenga, who is responsible for the rollout of EcoCash, has dismissed a claim reportedly made by Bankers Association of Zimbabwe’s immediate past president, Mr John Mushayavanhu, stating that Econet has denied banks access to its platform for integration.
ZimSwitch is pleased to announce that the long awaited Vpayments platform is now in a controlled live environment, following pilot approval from the RBZ for this controlled stage of the launch. Vpayments is an eCommerce Payments Gateway that enables all 19 ZimSwitch member Financial Institutions to offer their banked customers the convenience of secure Internet based payments, and their merchants the ability to sell goods and services “online”.
A report today by financial news and analysis service FinX says the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe have proposed that mobile money services be included in new banking reforms for the country. This, the bankers say, would create a level playing field in an sector facing significant disruption from mobile phone operators.
As party of the ongoing discussion following the ePayments Forum that was held exactly two weeks ago, we’ve decided to post here the main issues that came out of the event. You can read more about the event itself on the sub site dedicated for the event here: epayments.techzim.co.zw
About 2 months ago, in line with the new strategic direction for the company, Webdev introduced a hosted cart solution. According to the founder, Garth Drummond, the company is gradually moving away from the usual website development work that has been their work for more than 10 years now into hosted web solutions and the shopping cart is the start. The development is timed along with Zimswitch’s introduction of Vpayments, an online payment solution that makes shopping carts conveniently usable to Zimbabwe’s internet population.
Today we attended a press briefing where Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and CBZ Bank were announced a new mobile banking partnership. The partnership basically entails that EcoCash subscribers who bank with CBZ can now move money between their EcoCash mobile money wallet and their traditional bank account from their mobile phones. Users of the service can also check the bank balance and get a mini statement all via EcoCash.
When mobile payments were introduced in Zimbabwe, I thought here is the chance for me to sell my book to Zimbabweans who do not have Visa cards, MasterCards etc. I made my first call to Big Bank in November of 2011 and asked them about accepting payments via their mobile money transfer solution. I was told it was Ok.
Yesterday, we held the ePayments Forum in Harare yesterday where we had representatives from Visa, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Zimswitch, Touch Retail and Zimbabwe revenue authority presenting on some keys issues in the ePayments space in Zimbabwe.
Zimswitch, a national switching company recently introduced an internet payment gateway service called Vpayments. Being a financial switch basically means they provider interconnection between their member banks. Zimswitch member banks account for about 95% of the 1.5 million banked population in Zimbabwe. After hyperinflation and dollarisation, many Zimbabweans moved away from the banks, but now they are moving back, with the number of banked individuals holding a bank account expected to exceed 3 million by the end of 2013.
Convenient payment options are a critical and often cited sticking point for commercial and economic development. Numerous discussions have taken place around the need for increased electronic payment methods as a means to overcome time, socio-economic, and logistical constraints amongst others.