EcoCash Droid app by local developer replaces EcoCash USSD codes

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airtimeA local developer, Gedion Moyo, has developed an android application that will enable users to transact through EcoCash without going through the regular tedious USSD menus. The EcoCash Droid app does all EcoCash transactions (cash-outs, cash transfers, balance inquiry, pay merchants, pay billers airtime purchase and airtime transfer) by running the USSD menus in the background for you.

You basically launch the app and go straight to the task you want to complete by tapping on the option, which saves lots of time. The only USSD you have to do is confirming that the number or merchant you are paying is the right one. You can download the app here.

It’s a big deal because developers locally have maintained so far that even though an EcoCash Android app is a much needed and obvious solution (for those with smartphones at least), it’s difficult to implement technically because of limitations with the Android operating system.

The EcoCash Droid is an independent initiative from Gedion Moyo and it has no official ties with EcoCash. Econet haven’t released such an app which makes this, to the best of our knowledge, the first EcoCash Android app. We are assuming developing an EcoCash app has either been too difficult even for Econet, or that it’s just not a priority given the smartphone penetration locally. Or a combination of the two.

merchant-pin-ecocash-droid

payment

We ran the EcoCash Droid app and the pains it takes away were immediately apparent. We compared the speed in transacting and the EcoCash Droid can save users more than half a minute. More ofcourse if the network is poor. Here’s an idea:

Transaction TypeEcoCash USSDEcoCash DroidTime Saved
Airtime Voice43 sec15 sec28 sec
Airtime Text49 sec15 sec34 sec
Send Cash56 sec25 sec31 sec
Balance Enquiry30 sec10 sec20 sec

Security Concerns

The EcoCash Droid is not an official app from EcoCash and people will naturally be skeptical about using it given the nature of the transactions. Apart from saying that the EcoCash Droid does not store a user’s PIN, there is nothing more in terms security you can expect from the EcoCash Droid. Some comfort is that your EcoCash pin is tied to your sim card so someone would need to have your sim card for a stolen pin to be useful. But then again, who knows what hackers can and can’t do?

We suspect EcoCash may even come out and issue a public warning discouraging it’s use (for public safety reasons of course).

Monetisation

Gedion Moyo says he developed this app during his “spare time as a hobby”. In just one day, he says. The is no financial motivation as he puts it and just developed it to ease his and other people’s frustrations with USSD. The question now is, if Gedion can develop a useful app as part of his hobby and in one day, what’s stopping EcoCash from developing an official app?

UpdateThe app’s main method of functionality has been blocked. Essentially that means right now its not working anymore.

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38 comments

  1. Alu Moyo

    Awesome – Its great that someone finally did it, instead of just crying that Econet has not given them their API: have seen a couple of post like that over the years. The security concerns are valid though. While I’m sure the developer is a stand-up guy, any other person with malicious ambitions could wreak all sorts of havoc with an app like this – like record your pin and then remotely get peoples phones to send money to a designated account – although Ecocash’s own limits would make it not really worth the risk of jail time – and considering you do need a registered account to receive the money, they would catch up to any would-be criminal mastermind pretty quickly. I’m personally quite happy with my own home brewed solution to the USSD nightmare, coz it has my pin already pre entered, but no doubt this guy deserves his kudos – CONGRATS! But just one more thing:

    “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” – The Joker (from The Dark Knight, 2008)

    1. munhu_Mutema

      pamweBlazz vakaona kuti app yake haina dhiri vs the esteem & technical ability now associated with his name is saDeveloper.

      “an honest man will always know the true value of his work.” – munhu_mutema 2014

  2. lukezuze

    Or whats stoppping ecocash from paying a few cents to the guy and acknowledge his work and what their brilliant minds cant do.

    1. Tendai Sean Joe

      It does not work like that! Do not work to be acknowledged. Work to add value and get paid for it! Rewards may come later for this guy! I think he made a good move

  3. Christopher Pade

    At least put some admob in it. He could have put banner ads for local mearchants that accept ecocash.

  4. Raymond Swart

    Well done for showing that it doesn’t take much to get things done and for showing the initiative.

    Now go ahead and make your app do the same thing with Telecash so one app does all and offer it to the networks in a branded version as their official app.

    Econet / Telecel give credit where it’s due.

  5. beatnyama

    I applaud this guy’s ingenuity. However i’m not how EcoCash will respond. They might start about him using their trademarked name Ecocash, and silently report to Google to have the app revoked. And then they will also silently make an identical app.
    Or they can come with a cheque book. Or hire the guy.
    Good, simple and straight forward app.

    1. Douglas Maposa

      I cannot agree less 😉

      1. Tendai Sean Joe

        There was an app called Uber Twitter, it had the same problem with Twitter. This is very common and anyone with IP would need to protect it.

  6. Njolinjo

    The guy must be hired by Econet

  7. Myles

    Econet should jus buy the rights off him and pay him very very very well for a job well done

  8. Zim Inov8

    I dont its fair to say that just because they haven’t released a mobile application, they cannot do it. Econet is a big company with plenty of skilled engineers. They probably have a product development lifecycle that they follow. Its not as if making a mobile app is rocket science

    1. Tendai Sean Joe

      Appreciate where it is due! This guy has done what Econet ws supposed to do all along.

      1. Zim Inov8

        he did a very good job of course im just saying its not fair to say that econet cant do it

  9. hired………………???????

    hired………..????????
    munhumutema wemuzimbabwe unonyatsomuziva here iwewe
    haadi kusimudzira umwe Daniel chingoma akaitwasei
    izvezvi unonzwa muherald zvichinzi man apprehended for violating and infringing econet ecocash security platform

  10. chitake.boshmaster

    ava ndovanhu vanofunga.muface wangu ndinonwa naye pilsner.kkk

  11. Raymond Swart

    It
    is not the official app, and because of this you may experience
    improved service and customer support from the app developer. Econet in
    no way are associated with this app nor the improvement in service
    linked to their service.

    And just incase you had doubts this is not an official Econet or EcoCash app.

  12. purple

    He could offer a version with premium features to those who do a lot of transactions such as agents or merchants

  13. why ?

    Econet has blocked this app.

    1. purple

      How……its just using the ussd interface of android devices…..Or maybe you mean to say they have advised against using it

      1. why ?

        by blocking the long codes.

        1. purple

          As always …the mentality of keeping your brother down…instead of helping him wins the day

  14. ndiWasu

    Econet Has Blocked This Application: Sad day for all Zim Developers Indeed…

    1. Raymond Swart

      It is a sad day, but by blocking the long codes they have shot themselves in the foot as anyone who used the long codes (saved the USSD code as a contact) will also be affected…

      Econet stop being grumpy that someone used his brain to solve a problem that you have ignored…

  15. cmzizi

    Just seen the code. Its good, The guy took pains in designing the app. Even though Econet has blocked the code it was a good initiative.. Econet should just swallow up their price and work in conjunction with this guy so as to develop an even greater, slicker and more secure app.

  16. Mitaix

    Anogona kutaura Gedion… Its a fact that econet will look for him. Dai akaenda ku management zvaizonetsa. Now Strive aakutobvunza kuti who is Gedion? Cant u make him the head of Econet ICT?

  17. Chihelele

    Im in UK. Unfortunately this seem to work locally only within zim. It needs econet mobile signal in conjunction with the APP. Its a matter of time when either Econet release their own version or they hire this guy. It would be great to be able to use Ecocash from outside zim for things like paying workers and all your business funds being deposited there and i can verify within minutes.

    1. Zim Inov8

      lovely use case

  18. Chuwi

    Gideon Moyo anoseenza ku Econet already, if that adds anything.

  19. Disgusted

    Mr. Gedion, do not lie us that you have done this application during your spare time. We know very well that there is no way you could know the USSD longstring for Ecocash unless it has been maliciously leaked to you by someone internal. After all we know very well that you work for an EWZ subsidiary.

    1. ndiWasu

      Give the guy some credit. Long USSD codes have been in the public domain for some time now. Follow the link below

      http://www.techzim.co.zw/2013/12/fun-ussd-codes-123456/

    2. Alu Moyo

      Long codes are just the replies you make when going through the menus – nothing special, its just recording the string of inputs you would normally make, and separating them with a * each time, and then a # at the end.

    3. Dhodha

      kkkk dofo rinoramba kukundwa. if we had given you the codes, you would have brought nothing because the long codes have always been there for you to take the initiative

  20. Tawanda Mugari

    I guess whats stopping EcoCash from developing an app, is the ability to put an SSL connection and encrypted channel in the background of the app especially being developed with android. Lets not forget the fact that android software is FREE just like is an open source software like Linux. There are many developers/hackers out there who are just waiting for such types of money transfer apps. Security is something that any company first looks at before engaging in a product sale. Moyo did a great job and needs to be given credit though.

  21. why ?

    Developers. I have a feeling Gedion was up to mischief. He works for TPS which is an Econet subsidiary. This was work in progress and he thought otherwise. Now he is in deep shit. To know the long codes , you need to be working within. This is not a days work as he claims.Good app though.

    1. ZimDeveloper

      KKKK…. brother you are lost, let me educate you a bit. Gedion didn’t need to work at Econet or any inside information to crack Long USSD codes. In fact, there is no cracking about it. Long Codes are just short codes concatenated with the ‘*’ symbol. To check Balance for instance, whilst you would normally enter *151*200# and then enter password and then select 8 for wallet and then select option 3 for balance… the long code for that is simply *151*200*password*8*3# Does someone really need to work at econet to figure that out????

  22. Edward Gombedza

    USSD can also be used to refill the balance on the user’s SIM card and to deliver one time passwords or PIN codes

  23. VISION.MUSAPINGURA

    HOMEBOY-GIDEON-YOU-ARE-THE-BEST….CHIPING-SURVIVE

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