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#Mobile Money

Now 270,000 active EcoCash users, and more than 1.5m registered


EcoCashWe just picked up and thought we would share some insightful EcoCash stats in a report posted yesterday by the GSMA on their blog Mobile Money for the Unbanked. The GSMA got the stats from the head of EcoCash, Francis Matseketsa. We’ll just give a summary here of what we found interesting. You can read the whole article on this link (Update: article is no longer available on the original link).

The Stats

  • EcoCash now has over 1.5 million registered users. This alone is not much of a surprise and in fact we expected the figure to be around 1.6 million if the growth trend of about 200,000 per month has been consistent. Econet is still offering the free $1 airtime for EcoCash registrations so we don’t see reason for it slowing down as there are still millions (about 4.9m) of Econet mobile phone subscribers that are not on EcoCash yet.
  • EcoCash has 270,000 active mobile money subscribers, about 18% of the total EcoCash registered users, and 4.2% of the total Econet mobile phone subcribers. According to the GSMA, this percentage out of Econet’s total GSM subscribers compares favourably to other leading mobile money services globally.
  • EcoCash has some 1,400 agents across the country. Again, compared to other mobile money services, it’s a healthy ratio (1:193) of active customers per agent

Other interesting facts about the product implementation

  • The branding on public minibuses (maKombi) has contributed immensly to the growth of subscriptions.
  • EcoCash believes that its primary economic driver will be cost savings on airtime distribution. The 5% discount on airtime purchased via EcoCash has proved proved very popular with customers.
  • Transaction revenue alone has not yet pushed the service to breakeven and it’s expected that, as the volume of business increases with transaction usage, customer services fees will be lowered further.

A report “Benchmarking with the best” is used to compare EcoCash to mobile money services by other mobile network operators globally like Safaricom (MPESA), MTN (MobileMoney), Tigo (Tigo Cash) and Airtel (Airtel Money). You can access that report on this link (Update: report is no longer available on the original link). There are also other interesting articles on mobile money in Africa (and globally) on the MMU blog so make sure you go other there and browse around.

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