A couple of months ago Econet Wireless launched an Android app for their EcoCash mobile money service. This release came in the heels of another local developer’s attempts at solving the tedious USSD based process that characterises the service. Sadly this solo effort was blocked before Econet introduced its own version of the application.
Another developer, Tapiwa Matambo, has come up with his own EcoCash application which solves the same problems presented by USSD long code functionality. The difference with this application however is its compatibility to earlier versions of Android that Econet’s Ecocash app doesn’t work on.
As it turns out the Econet Android app is only compatible with later versions of the Android OS, with an exclusion of Versions 2.2.1 and Android Eclair 2.1 that are used on older devices. This has meant that users of devices like the Samsung Galaxy Ace haven’t been able to access the added convenience of the app.
Android’s inability to migrate its users to the latest version of its OS has always been a drawback for both users and app developers. This is something iOS users have always maintained as one of their advantages they hold over Android. This fact was actually being brandished by Apple CE Tim Cook last night at the keynote address of the WWDC 2014.
According to Matambo, he developed the app last week during his spare time to perform the services that he uses the most such as buying airtime, paying merchants, cashing out, sending money and inquiring balance.
Interestingly while this is the third version of the EcoCash app that has been presented to the market there hasn’t been any work on a similar application for Netone’s OneWallet or Telecel’s Telecash.
Matambo has been involved in the tech solutions before, having developed a debt management system and a bulk SMS solution but this was his first mobile solution. He is working on a separate Android and iOS app set for release later this year.