EcoCash and MoneyGram officially launch remittances partnership

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

Earlier today we attended the official launch of the partnership between EcoCash Diaspora and the global money transfer company, MoneyGram.

This relationship has been going on for a while now and prior to this official launch, MoneyGram was listed as one of the remittance channels on the Econet website. Today’s event was largely ceremonial, and meat to highlight the partnership itself, sharing information on its value proposition with various stakeholders.

The EcoCash and MoneyGram remittance option works in pretty much the same way as the other integrated remittance services such as WorldRemit, Western Union and Chitoro, as well as its new EcoCash Diaspora service for South Africa. It will complement their efforts and according to Econet, the access to different services is meant to broaden the options that EcoCash subscribers have.

Anyone outside the country sending money to Zimbabwe visits a MoneyGram agent (or uses the online option) and either selects to send via the EcoCash option, or sends the money using the standard MoneyGram format, but sends the reference number to the recipient. This number is then used by the recipient to accept the deposit into their EcoCash  wallet.

Once the money is in the recipient’s wallet, they are free to use it for any ordinary EcoCash transactions, which enables revenue for EcoCash through cash outs or any other Ecowallet use.

This is the latest move by Econet to broaden the cash-flow within the EcoCash environment, with Diaspora inflows gaining importance with the way the local economy is experiencing challenges with liquidity. This issue was highlighted by the guest of honour at the event, Dr. Charity Dhliwayo, who is the deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

While other mobile money services like Telecash have also explored the same sort of partnerships, they have been as quick to sign on partnerships like the ones Econet is co-opting into its mobile money network.

One would think that both Telecel and NetOne would be moving steadily to do the same, considering that the remittances and transfer service providers seem keen on this arrangement.

Thanks to the amplified efficiency and ease of access to money that is provided by mobile money services thanks to wide coverage and service awareness, the remittance providers stand to accelerate their growth into the market, something that has been highlighted by the success of mobile-first remittance services like WorldRemit.

In the long term this doesn’t look like the only option that EcoCash diaspora can explore. By being tied to the most ubiquitous monetary platform in Zimbabwe, some concept like the direct payment of services which are usually paid for by Diaspora funds (think funeral costs, home construction, fees..) EcoCash Diaspora could be set to tap into other downstream services when the time is right.

For now, all that can be done is to observe how the market takes up these partnered services, and whether there is a huge potential that will be explored soon.


  1. fourwallsinaroom

    hmmm does anyone remember that net*one lte sim that techzim obtained to provide us with speed tests…
    oh back to the story at hand money gram works really smoothly and accepting into wallet is largely painless. I have tested all three and world remit was perfect but cant move funds from the USA, Canada is the “closest”. Western Union online is pricey and the website claims you can not do an agent transaction to Zimbabwe. Moneygram worked great, no bloatware or anything on the site, everything is clear and concise. Love the web page too.

    1. Nigel Gambanga

      Lol @fourwallsinaroom we are still crowdfunding for the LTE device hey. Sorry for the delay and thanks for your patience 😉
      Back to the story…have you had a chance to use the Mukuru service as well? w\What are your thoughts on that one?

      1. fourwallsinaroom

        Oh lol! well you never said you were crowd funding!

        No I have not been able to use Mukuru for a number of reasons.
        1. The registration process apparently is not so friendly so the people who usually send money my way from there would rather use alternative paths.
        2. I personally do not have any money there so I can not test it using my own sources, they need proof of res, copy of id and all sorts to register. Whereas with world remit they just want and address, email, phone number (used google voice) and credit card

    2. macd chip

      I use Western Union from Europe direct, no Ecocash and l always find them cheap and reliable with better rates.

      I also have used other agencies, moneygram is a big NO for me, Mukuru and Chitoro l do not use them.

      The trick with WU is to be a registered user, which means you have to send docs for verification. When sending money, rates quickly becomes expensive if you are not using bank transfer but always constant at 3euros if you use instant cash transfer.

      1. fourwallsinaroom

        What went wrong with moneygram for you Macd chip? I found it easier to register online, but the $20 to send from an american account was quite high so in the end what I started doing was ACH transfers to a buddy in the states who would then walk into money gram and send the money once he had withdrawn it from the atm.

        1. macd chip

          It there charges and exchange rates, there are low.

          If l send £10 via WU, they charge me £2.90 and give me a rate £1= $1.53

          With moneygram, they charge £4.90 at a rate of £1= $1.49.

          So clearly lm loosing money to try moneygram, even though sending via ecocash might look cheap, it will not be because of being charged twice

  2. G

    i doubt that they will capture market share in south africa if their only partnerships are with moneygram & western union. these organizations are what the majority of zimbabweans who send small amounts (or would want to send small amounts) run away from because of their stringent document requirements. so i think this will be a big fail unless they build their own agent network

    1. fourwallsinaroom

      Document requirements are for online not walk into store/bank

  3. fourwallsinaroom

    Well lets assume my name is Joe and this is hmy situation in South Africa :-
    1. I dont have a passport / a valid permit
    2. I do not have a south africa resident bank account
    3. I do not have a visa/master/discover/amex

    The only way I can use Western Union / Moneygram is to walk into the store. And besides where did I get a laptop/computer and internet connection when I am working a not so good job maybe 1000-2000rands a month?

    This is perfect for that set up me thinks? or did i miss something

  4. fourwallsinaroom

    noticed this morning during my VPN+moneygram run that there is now a direct to wallet option online similar to world remit vs the having to do the transfer then go into the ecocash menu and “retrieve” the money using the confirmation. This is a welcome improvement. Sending $20 cost my 60c.

    1. macd chip

      But sending into Ecocash l noticed they are charging £2.50, maybe lm missing something

  5. fourwallsinaroom

    So after Macd went raving about how great western union is, I pulled out my prepaid netspend visa, connected my VPN and sent $20 just to see how painless it would be.
    Western union side no problems,
    dialed *151#–>pin–>5—>1—>MCTN accepted the terms and conditions by entering pin. Then the disaster that is WU/Ecocash happened. Was told go to an agent. I called and no joy with the agent at ecocash he was clearly clueless. I went to Econet Borrowdale and they said try again, at which point i was told my MCTN was on hold!!! Anyway left and went to Ecobank borrowdale and got my $20 sans the ecocash cash out fee. Western Union has just lost my vote. See attached picture Ecobank was friendly, no funny attitude from an ecocash agent, we even got to talking… would have exchanged numbers but thats another story for another day!
    @nigel if you would like me to do a step by step would be more than happy to guest author provided you proof read before publishing – > —> score 1 for Ecobank zero for Ecocash

    1. macd chip

      We are talking from 2 different points! I use Western Union directly, no Ecocash or Mukuru. If l want to send money to Zim, l log into WU acc, choose the money amount and l get reference number.
      I then log into my bank account and transfer to WU account, they then confirm that my money is ready for collection which will be then picked up at any WU agent.

      1. fourwallsinaroom

        Ahhh makes sense now. i was talking about the integration side. for instance today is sunday there is no where that i can get money from wu.

        1. macd chip

          You can get it from any OK shops or the VIP lounge near Reserve bank, they only close at Xmas

  6. ICT Counsel

    This is why BAZ said there is need for more regulation of these services.

2023 © Techzim All rights reserved. Hosted By Cloud Unboxed