There haven’t been a lot of announcements around EcoSure, the mobile money based micro-insurance service from Econet. Since the update on the 1 million users that had been signed up for the service, there hasn’t been much said really.
That’s not to say it isn’t being tweaked though. An advertising campaign was recently launched for its new featured service; the EcoSure Burial Society.
It’s a funeral package that facilitates group contributions for funeral policies. It offers interest on the savings and like other EcoSure packages, processing of claims within 24 hours. Information on how to sign up can be gathered when you dial 311.
EcoSure is riding on the old concept of burial societies where groups of friends, relatives, church members or workmates contribute towards a fund that will assist each member in the event of a funeral.
This group effort gave way to modern day funeral assurance, but locally and in neighbouring countries like South Africa, it has been embraced and lives on in communities where the pooling of funds makes up for limited income.
This EcoSure Burial Society becomes the second “old school” approach to financing that Econet has tapped into. Earlier this year, the EcoCash mobile money service launched the EcoCash Savings Club, a mobile wallet version of communal group savings platforms. It’s similar to the maRound or Stokvel model, albeit with a mobile money wallet perspective.
Numbers don’t lie and the Econet Services team (EcoCash and EcoSure fall under this bracket) clearly lives by this cliche. Numbers suggest that while a lot of traction has been gained in mobile financial services through money transfer, remittances and bill payments, there are other aspects of mobile money that still haven’t been mopped up.
A Finscope Survey for Zimbabwe published in the first quarter of this year indicated saving and financial inclusion patterns for a cross-section of Zimbabweans. With 30% of Zimbabweans identified as having some form of insurance, 76% of these respondents listed burial societies as a primary funeral policy.
A fair conversion of these users to the EcoSure mobile-based option could unlock a new market in an environment where EcoCash, and every other over the top telecoms service is figuring out where more revenue is going to come from.