EcoCash (Save) is the new bank account for the masses

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar
Customers conducting EcoCash transactions under a tent recently at the Harare Agricultural Show

Econet announced today the introduction of a new EcoCash based mobile money service called EcoCash Save. The service offers a mobile virtual savings account for the subscriber in much the same way that EcoCash users have a virtual mobile wallet. The EcoCash Save account can be opened by any subscriber within seconds via a new EcoCash USSD menu option. Subscribers can do this from anywhere they are as they don’t need to visit an agent. Once the account is opened a user can immediately transfer money from their EcoCash wallet to the savings account.

This is a key difference of what so far we imagined an EcoCash savings account service would be. We imagined it would just be linked to a regular savings account with a bank and that Econet would negotiate rates with the bank based on the collective volumes of savings they bring. Such a linked account would mean the subscriber would still have some relationship with a traditional financial institution.

EcoCash Save is something more radical and more convenient to people looking for banking services. Yes, banking services, not mobile money services. This new virtual account is a bank account. One you can create on the fly from wherever you are and start depositing your savings into. If you have tried to open a regular savings account at a bank, you appreciate how big a deal this is. Econet has come in to replace savings accounts as we know them and this has a high chance it will work.

A high chance it will work that is especially as they are doing it with extras like interest of amounts as small as a dollar. The service may attract very small amounts as well as bigger ones. Easy to imagine a guy looking to save $50 a month considering EcoCash Save since, if he went to a regular bank and tried to save that $50 he’d know that months later the money would have all been eaten up by miscellaneous charges. Either that or he has to understand cryptic terms and conditions and special types of accounts to ensure the 50 at least stays put.

For Econet, paying interest just makes sense as money was being kept in the EcoCash wallet already by some subscribers anyway. The money in the wallets is underpinned by real dollars sitting somewhere (at Steward Bank or at the RBZ) and these dollars were so far already generating interest earnings for Econet. EcoCash Save just enables them to reward users for keeping their money like they would in a proper savings account.

The savings account opens up opportunity for EcoCash to launch even more services that so far have been the reserve of traditional financial institutions. Loans especially. And even the release today has a hint of that when you read that they are encouraging employers to start paying salaries into this savings account. Once a salary is being paid into an account, loans can be issued to that subscriber with enough confidence it won’t go bad. And again this doesn’t necessarily have to be the micro loans.


  1. observer

    Is this website a mouthpiece for Econet???

    1. macdchip

      No!! A mouthpiece for tech innovation l would say.

      And the only company which seems to be bringing innovative ideas happens to Econet, hence a lot of coverage for them

      1. Farai Sairai

        I agree. Who is else is making tech news so far? No one except Econet. Let them make headlines news everyday if they can – bad or good.

      2. observer

        This is not innovation, this is called copy and paste, there is nothing new about this idea look at Safaricom in Kenya and also Econet is not the only company working on ideas ther are plenty more its just the only one with resources to buy coverage!

        1. Guest

          How about you list those local companies that are working on innovative ideas?

        2. Llodza

          Everything we use is a copy. Why don’t we walk naked because we did not invent clothes?

          1. observer

            but you pay a premium for Giorgio Armani suits coz he got original designs?


        anyone with money can buy coverage its cheap

    2. Mupari

      saka wanga uchida kuti vaignowe nyaya yacho here

      1. hondo

        its not about ignoring the nyaya. but its the tone of the article that raises eyebrows. this sounds more like an ad/press release.

        >aside: considering Econet is the single largest advertiser (they have the most prominent ads on this site) then I would also nyengerera them if I was the blogger 🙂

    3. John Doe

      Well, Econet happens to do the most pioneering stuff and no one can avoid writing about them

    4. ricross



    I see no innovation just a copy of Safaricom kenya its M-Pesa for all those who dont know ….plus observer is right this site has been bought off by ECONET

    1. TT

      Its a first in Zim, so its an innovation in that way. I have just opened my account and its very easy. I did it on my phone. My idea is to transfer money from my barclays account to that account so that I can easily access it using Ecocash. Barclays is not linked to ecocash but they have their own USSD package.


        how did it cost to transfare my man the transfare have you ever wondered why traditional banks hate ecocash ask yourself lest i am accused of trolling

      2. Farai Sairai

        First in Zim does not mean innovation. Innovation means new or original. I would call it an improvement on their existing services. This service is like M-Pesa from Kenya Safaricom. Nothing original or innovative there from Econet. Econet brought 4G but that is not innovation.

        1. Jah Guidance

          Chishandisa yekuKenya iyoyo… Whether it’s innovative or not, it’s the first of it’s kind in Zim. PLEASE, feel free to ‘innovate’ if you will!

          1. TECHNOKRATTI

            ECONET WONT LET US PANE ane ma A.P.I acho here / hapana ecoecash is a closed system

      3. Peter

        You have to wait a little bit longer, its not a real account , you can not deposit money into the account at Steward bank and neither can you transfer money from another bank to the account online or otherwise. You can only transfer from Ecocash to Ecocash Save and vise versa. Confirmed with them as i was also of that impression

    2. Pindile Mhandu

      Asvotwa ne this innovation ngaayende kuKenya kwacho.

      1. observer

        Eye ndichaenda and I will come back and tell you how real Innovative companies do it!


        madii kuenda imimi nekuti munoida m -pesa

  3. Member


  4. charles

    typical zimbabweans already blasting this website as an Econet mouthpiece,tell me kune dzimwe news dze technology izvozvi you think this is PC magazine or something .

    1. SimbaMX

      Just noticed pane a new zim tech blog – saw it on tweeter just now

    2. observer

      I dont think this is PC magazine, this is just a cheap imitation!


      this will be never be PC magazine not at this rate .charles the truth is the truth

    4. tinm@n

      How about typical people…Don’t be generalising and grouping the whole lot of us

  5. Peter

    A great innovation, way to go Econet

    1. The King

      You are wrong. By the time Econet launched EcoCash, there were already a myriad of mobile banking applications e.g Kingdom CellCard, Tetrad E-Mali, Telecel Sqwama

      1. tinm@n

        The very first one was 123 Cell Money,for those who remember. Its payments were limited but the project didn’t last long. It was older than M-Pesa.

        But obviously most important thing is who can sustain and derive monetary value from it

  6. Pindile Mhandu

    If you choose to not call this innovative then Facebook was not an innovation, just an improvement of myspace and email! kikiki

    1. Pindile Mhandu

      and the telephone


      What new thing did econet bring to this concept that safaricom had not already done except for changing name .this is a me too product

      1. Pindile Mhandu

        a me too product which will me used by millions.

        1. observer

          are you part of the me too


    this is getting old just because a company has infinite resources does not make it innovative . first in the field is not innovation .Zim is not KENYA at all .zvinho zvavapedza ma idea eku safaricom vachakopera ani ini ndinoziva kut madofo ndiwo anokopera

    1. Marunda

      Uchazvisungirira ne jerasi, urikushanda kubhengi Chete, hokoyo basa rapera. I am my own teller and branch maneja. Unongoti Kenya Kenya, Mbuya vako vaunonyima bank account ku basa kwako vakambokusvika, Isu ve Telecel tinoti apa Econet Magona! For your own info, this product is much easier to use than Mshwari. We love it…

    2. The King

      For your info, Safaricom was not the first to launch such a product in Africa. This had been tried earlier and failed in SA

  8. John Doe

    Check out and

  9. Imjustsaying

    Fact of the matter is vanhu are suffering from Eco-fatigue, hence the Eco-hatery!!!. How about this copy n paste for ya (wiki) – Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new
    requirements, inarticulate needs, or existing market needs. This is
    accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments and society.
    The term innovation can be defined as something original and, as
    consequence, new that “breaks in to” the market or into society. One
    usually associates to new phenomena that are important in some way. A
    definition of the term, in line with these aspects, would be the
    following: “An innovation is something original, new, and important – in
    whatever field – that breaks in to (or obtains a foothold in) a market
    or society.” – if we rid ourselves of Eco-fatigue for a few moments, is it not probable that a lot of the Eco xxx products released in the past decade by that the 800-pound gorilla in the room (read Econet Group) means they have been innovative enough to get up off their, mobilize resources, fight through the jungle that is Zim legislative/political minefield, and come from behind to be the shining light in the Zim telecom landscape? None of these products were widely adopted in the market before Econet launched them (widest coverage, 3G, LTE, Ecocash, EcocashSave, largest fibre footprint etc) Bi.tchin about the market-leader is a very techy/geeky thing to do, we all do that so we appear the rebel-without-a-cause, but innovation is nothing if it cant be monetized in the real world – look at Apple, they are becoming victims of their own self-absorbed notion of “Apple is innovative – so we are not going to do a smartphone with a screen bigger than 4″ like Samsung and them – anything bigger is just not Apple…”

  10. Clement W. Siby

    More importantly what is the interest rate on this savings account?

  11. Member

    To all those saying this website is an econet platform, ndeyekwenyu iyo, this is business people. if econet is the game in town and they get coverage, wether they pay for it or not and techzim is able to put food on the table muzimbabwe mamakatiza muchinotsvaga magreener pastures ahh ndeyekwenyu iyo

    1. Jali likaNYANDENI

      Ngivumelana lawe Ongafuniyo i-Ecocash Save ngokwakhe njalo lilungelo lakhe njengoba lami kulilungelo lami lokusebenza leEcoCash Kahambe eKenya nxa efuna

  12. john

    You put money in eco cash save, earn 1% then lose 5 to 9% when you spend or transfer the money. My bank account is a much better deal and my account is on my phone

  13. john

    Have you seen the loan rates? If you borrow $100 you have to have $25 in your savings account. The then deduct 5% fee up front. Therefore you are actually getting a net of $70 for a cost of $5 per month. This is a rate of about 86% annulized

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  17. savy

    my line is failing to register an ecosave account what should I do

  18. Anonymous

    Go hang

  19. Mobazy

    Go hang

  20. Mobazy

    Go hang urslf

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