We have been informed today that Econet is migrating the core technology powering its mobile money system, EcoCash, from a platform developed by South African based company, Pattern Matched Technologies, to award winning Indian based VAS company, Comviva. Last week, Econet announced that its mobile money system would be down over the weekend as the company upgraded the system. We learnt today that the upgrade is more a migration.
The information was revealed to us by Pattern Matched Technologies CEO, Markus Schorn, in response to an email we sent the company enquiring about the upgrade. “The new system is not provided by PMT,” he said in the email. It’s not clear what has caused Econet to migrate and Schorn himself said he didn’t know: “PMT still does not actually know why Econet chose to do this”.
We also sent an email to Econet Mobile Money Executive, Francis Matseketsa (the man in charge of EcoCash) but we didn’t get a response from him. Another email to the Econet PR head, Ranga Mberi, also went unanswered.
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Information we’re getting from contacts at Econet however suggests the company has moved EcoCash to Comviva because of “capacity issues” with the PMT platform. Capacity here we assume is referring to scalability issues. “Econet is thinking big with EcoCash,” said one contact we spoke to. He explained that the company’s plan is to have a “big” payments system. He suggested the word “big” here refers to something as robust as a system the size of PayPal.
On what subscribers will get with the new platform, information we have says it’s mainly the merchant system that has been added.
We’ll be posting additional information on the move as we get it.