EcoCash Head, Jabangwe, says company not about to share mobile money infrastructure

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Natalie Jabangwe

Speaking at the Mobile Money and Digital Payments conference today, EcoCash Head, Natalie Jabangwe-Morris, alluded to the fact that the company is not yet ready to share its mobile money distribution infrastructure.

At some point in the future, Jabangwe said, it will be inevitable, but in the meantime, the Econet Group needed to make a return on its $50 million-plus investment in the distribution network.

Here’s an excerpt from the presentation she made:

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Let me make a very clear point to all the attendees of this conference and very humbly so to the Honorable Minister. It takes a lot to be able to grow a mobile money payments business.
When you talk about over 6 million customers registered, upto 70% of Zimbabwe’s adult population. 47% of Zimbabwe’s GDP moved on EcoCash. It is a result of millions and millions of investment in the distribution network. Ofcourse there will come a time when it will be inevitable for that distribution network to be shared but I think we must appreciate that a lot has gone into building that distribution network. Over 50 million dollars has gone into building the distribution network.

Jabangwe also said that because of their investment and moving first, they needed to enjoy their first mover advantage.

In apparent reference to NetOne and Telecel, Jabangwe pointed out that other players were letting the industry down as they were not moving at the same speed in infrastructure investment and innovation.

“We’d like other players to have the same passion in setting up this difficult to build infrastructure so that it’s not left to a single player to carry the weight of developing the industry in the country.”

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8 Comments

  1. Mfana wenTonaz says:

    Well said, Supaman ought not to personalise and politicise issues, take it on policy level

  2. LMMMTN says:

    Well, well real monies were poured into the current private infrastructure while others’ 20 years licences are not meant for public consumption plus rivals balance sheets have never been green since time immemorial plus Vimplecom are yet to receive their full sell price for a company needing over US$300 million recap, as it grapples with 0,5US$ million operational overdraft.

  3. Marasirepi says:

    let us all share,Econet is overcharging us on everything bundles and what,share share share! Its time

    1. Anonymous says:

      If you build it they will come – stop yah whining and stop using Ecocash if the charges really bother you – NOTHING is free

      STEP YOUR GAME UP

  4. Bradley says:

    First mover advantage. Sure you should enjoy. If you want in on the pie build your infrastructure.

  5. Llodza says:

    The rest must not be like a green bomber fly which lays eggs on a live millipede. What is it that these guys have in return for Econet? It’s just , reap, reap, reap and reap but no planting and cultivating. Ah, nyaraiwo.

  6. Brutus says:

    What “infrastructure” in particular is being referred to here that cost $50mil? Are we going to perpetuate the vicious cycle of building parallel networks in Zimbabwe? Why can’t our operators see the bigger picture where they can make money from also charging for use of their infrastructure?

    1. what infrastructure: The mobile money agent infrastructure => recruiting agents, training, marketing & marketing material, float support, commissions etc…

      A common pool is not a bigger picture when your competition doesn’t have much infrastructure to bring to the pool. Might as well take advantage and monopolise. Fair business me thinks.

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