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EcoCash still wants 5 new customers daily from Agents? Agents Association responds

The Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe (MMTAAZ) has issued a press statement in response to a requirement from Econet that EcoCash agents should sign up 5 new customers daily, as per contract agreement. Econet is said to have reminded EcoCash agents about this requirement via sms.

The alleged SMS reminder from Econet read:

“Please be advised that all agents are required to register at least 5 customers on Ecocash daily as per the agency contract”- Ecocash Message

MMTAAZ has responded to this requirement from Econet labelling it “ill advised” because the mobile money market is now saturated for EcoCash and even registering one new customer per day “is still pushing it too far”.

EcoCash reportedly has 3.5 million registered customers from a possible 8.5 million registered Econet subscribers.

MMTAAZ also said in it’s statement that there is no “real incentive” for agents to register new customers. They say the lack of incentive shows that EcoCash is taking “agents for granted”.

Here’s the full statement from MMTAAZ:

In light of an sms broadcast being sent to Ecocash agents by Econet, in which agents are informed of a requirement that each agent should register at least 5 new customers per day, the Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe (MMTAAZ) would like to inform its members and all concerned agents that the requirement is ill advised. Mobile money business has become highly saturated for the said provider such that it is very difficult to create new customers; even registering one per day is still pushing it too far considering there are more than 8 000 agents countrywide. Furthermore, there is no real incentive for the agents for registration of the said customers, a development which shows that these mobile money operators are taking agents for granted.

As MMTAAZ we believe such an issue should have considerably be encouraged and stimulated by a financial benefit, such that those who would want to pursue the financial benefit for new customer registrations will do so willy-nilly.

We strongly encourage mobile money operators to revise their contracts as per the RBZ directive not to use exclusive contracts. This is because the section 3.4 on the agent contract they are referring to in the sms broadcast is based on the exclusive basis contract they made agents sign from way back.

Apparently Econet has moved away from the original arrangement of paying $1 to agents for each new customer. Instead, Econet will pay an agent $1 after a new customer signed by that particular agent cashes-in at least $10.

I spoke to MMTAAZ Coordinator Francis Chinjekure and he rightly said there is no guarantee that the new customers will use the service after signing up hence the incentive was not appealing. However, on Econet’s part, they are obviously keen to keep to the cost of acquiring a new customer low and it makes a bit of sense to reward the agents after the customer spends.

We are not sure what section 3.4 of the EcoCash agent contract states. That information is no longer available on the Econet website. We also tried to get a comment from Econet but they did not get back to us in the time they said they would. Our phone calls were not answered after that.

agent-information

Questions will also be raised over the credibility of MMTAAZ which only has 220 members out of 8000 mobile money agents in Zimbabwe. Chinjekure admitted that membership has been slow but they will be moving to establish provincial structures in a bid to increase membership.


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7 thoughts on “EcoCash still wants 5 new customers daily from Agents? Agents Association responds

  1. Who are these MMTAAZ people? Where can I register to be a member. One thing I dont like about associations is they further someones agenda. In this case I wonder who they are representing. We as agents entered into an agreement with Econet and registration were part of our agreement. More registrations work to our advantage and I do not see why we must not register people. We actually make $1 per registrations if you didnt know. I think Econet must actually ask us to register more people because it brings more money to us. I fear this association will damage our good relationships with Econet and it can work to our advantage. Econet can just be mean and open their own agents at strategic places and we will be out of business. Please MMTAAZ dont confuse us or destroy our good relationship with Econet. We always take our grievances to EcoCash team via our supportive agent officers. In this case I think you got it wrong. We need EcoCash more than they need us frankly speaking but we just need a good relationship with mutual respect.

    1. @Zimictfan if agents could see the value in registering agents they don’t need to be reminded of such an exercise. The truth as you even highlighted is that you are not even secure about the future being an agent because you think econet can dump you one day. We are not suppose to boot-lick any of these MNO’s for our existence going concern. Lets secure our position and negotiate for fairly mutual benefits along with the existing mutual respect between these two bodies. On another note, please go and check how much insurance brokers are being paid for selling Insurance to the public in the same way we are doing for ecocash save just to mention and after all you dont get even a single cent from it. You will realise when you get dumped how much it pains especially knowing that you have contributed to the growth of the service…..spare a thought for those who had their lines closed during the agents war………….. the weaker is always the looser, be strong.

      1. Which mobile money service providers globally pays commissions like Ecocash does. The fallacy people have maybe is that Econet is making millions out of EcoCash but its the agents who are making money. Maybe it would be great if we got information on who are the members of this association. I doubt the agents making good money will bother messing up their commissions by spending time listening to this association. Me I chose to concentrate on what brings butter to my table! Frankly my colleague if Ecocash sets up a distribution model in strategic places we can easily be out of business. Remember they have green kiosks, Econet shops and containers. What would you do if they chose to cancel the agreement with you! Can you as an association make noise and if you do you will make noise to who! Think about it.

        1. Thats why you are always going to be bullied, Stand your ground, Econet chose the Agent model because its the most feasible one, they cant afford to “strategically” erect for instance 30 Econet shops at one growth and once they put anything less than that, then the convenience disappears! Surely if the only option is to go to town looking for an Econet Shop, then I would use a bank instead!

    2. @Zimictfan if agents could see the value in registering agents they don’t need to be reminded of such an exercise. The truth as you even highlighted is that you are not even secure about the future being an agent because you think econet can dump you one day. We are not suppose to boot-lick any of these MNO’s for our existence going concern. Lets secure our position and negotiate for fairly mutual benefits along with the existing mutual respect between these two bodies. On another note, please go and check how much insurance brokers are being paid for selling Insurance to the public in the same way we are doing for ecocash save just to mention and after all you dont get even a single cent from it. You will realise when you get dumped how much it pains especially knowing that you have contributed to the growth of the service…..spare a thought for those who had their lines closed during the agents war………….. the weaker is always the looser, be strong.

    3. For a moment I thought you was an Econet employee for there is lots of boot licking in your comment. Yes associations do sometimes push individual agendas but I agree with them. Its true that its hard registering new clients everyday, given that I have an uncle and friend who are agents. To say you need ecocash more than they need agents is both ill advised and ignorant.

  2. Another thing I got to realize here is these guys are not in a way trying to fight with econet, they are just saying lets secure our position we are the pioneers and we are entitled to the grandfathers rights so econet should just show them some mutual respect by taking into considerations some of what they are pushing for. Legitimately, who gave econet the power to just terminate the contract without consensus with the other part….Isn’t it fair that agents get a represantation legally, policy wise and economically.

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