Last week, Econet’s Namibian partner, Trustco Group Holdings, revealed that by 31 March this year, 1.6 million Econet subscribers had registered for the Ecolife insurance service. That’s more than 30% of Econet’s total subscribers.
The information was made available at the announcement of Trustco financial results by Head of Corporate Strategy, Desnei Leaf-Camp. Here’s an extract of Leaf-Camp’s statement:
On 7 October 2010, EcoLife, a partnership between Trustco Mobile, First Mutual Life Assurance Company (Pty) Limited and Econet Wireless (Private) Limited, was launched all across Zimbabwe. This marked the second step in Trustco’s African expansion beyond Namibia. With 1.6 million customers registered across Zimbabwe by 31 March, Trustco Mobile anticipates a rapid increase in subscribers as discussions with telecommunication operators and financial service providers develop into new business opportunities across the African continent.
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Techzim got in touch with Borris Erasmus, Chief Operating Office for Trustco Mobile, to get more information on the core software running Ecolife. He says the software itself is installed at Econet with technical support, maintenance and development being done from Trustco Strategic Software Development offices In Cape Town. The Trustco Mobile Concept was developed by the Strategic Software Development division of Trustco. The concept itself is patented worldwide and the IP vests in Trustco Mobile Mauritius.
According to Erasmus, the Trustco mobile concept has already been rolled out in Namibia and Zimbabwe, and Trustco is in advanced stages of negotiations for rollout in several countries. As Namibia’s population is only 2.1 million, Zimbabwe is Trustco’s largest implementation yet of the mobile life cover service.
The Ecolife insurance value added service is underwritten by Zimbabwe’s First Mutual Life. Econet subscribers qualify for life insurance based on a minimum airtime usage per month. Econet, FML and Trustco split the revenue from the service.
Ecolife was launched only 7 months ago so the 1.6 million feat is quite impressive. To put it in perspective: Telecel, the second largest mobile operator (by number of subscribers), doesn’t even have that in total mobile phone subscribers.