Trustco Group Holdings, the Namibian technology partner behind Econet and FML’s Ecolife life insurance product has terminated the agreement for the provision of the system. This has left Econet unable to add more subscribers to the service while they make a move to a new system.
Starting yesterday, Econet issued notices in the Zimbabwe local print press assuring subscribers the disruption would not affect their life cover and the service would be resumed once Econet completes migration to a new system. Here’s part of the notice:
The system on which the Ecolife product operates is not running owing to the unilateral termination of the agreement between Econet and the foreign technical partner providing the system. This means that we are unable to automatically update your usage statistics onto the system. However, we will keep your usage statistics on our switch and we will be able to process any claims manually based on the latest usage statistics.
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We have commenced work on an alternative system that will automatically calculate your free life cover entitlements and provide you updates. We have put in place measures to ensure that the existing subscribers to the Ecolife product are not financially prejudiced. However, during the period of this disruption, we will not be able to take up new subscribers to the Ecolife product. We request you to kindly bear with us in the interim.
It’s not yet clear what caused the sudden termination of the agreement and we hope the details will emerge in the coming days. Econet says it’ll issue a statement later today. Trustco on the other hand hasn’t commented on the matter.
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 of US$3 per month.
Just two weeks ago, Trustco announced that the Ecolife service had managed to register some 1.6 million Econet subscribers in Zimbabwe. Borris Erasmus, the Trustco Mobile Chief Operating Office told us last week, the Ecolife software was installed at Econet with technical support, maintenance and development being done from Trustco Strategic Software Development offices In Cape Town. He also disclosed that the Trustco Mobile Concept was developed by the Trustco Strategic Software Development division and that it is patented worldwide.