When you are in Europe or America, it is possible to move around without any cash in your pocket as long as you have a credit card or a debit card.
Governments in developed countries have long urged their citizens to transact electronically. This is known as a ‘cashless society’. It is fast, cheap, and very safe.
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In Africa only one country has really managed to achieve a high level of ‘cashless system’, and that is Kenya, which uses a mobile phone service known as M-PESA, operated by the largest operator there known as Safaricom.
Whilst many operators in Africa are trying to establish similar systems, they have met with limited success.
The one operator who has achieved a high level of success is Econet Wireless of Zimbabwe. There the company has a service called EcoCash which has caught on like wildfire.
Zimbabwe has a dollarized economy, which means bank notes are in short supply. This is the gap that has allowed EcoCash to really prosper in a unique way.
This week, EcoCash activated a feature which enables it to create a seamless link into all the banks, allowing for the first time customers with bank accounts the ability to move money into an electronic wallet, from anywhere in the country.
The new service also allows businesses to accept payment in EcoCash instead of cash. Once they receive such payment, it is automatically credited to a bank account as real cash.
Econet also owns a company called TPS, which operates most of the country’s credit card terminals that already accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards.
The company is now installing software which allows retailers to accept EcoCash through these same terminals.
Douglas Mboweni, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, CEO said EcoCash has completely changed the way Zimbabwe does business and predicted it will have a greater impact than even M-PESA in Kenya.
This press release was provided by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe