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EcoCash reintroduces merchant payment fees, brings cost of mobile money services back into focus

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A few months ago EcoCash, Zimbabwe’s largest mobile money service zero-rated some of its transactions, making it free to carry out merchant payments.

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Unfortunately, this was only a 90-day reprieve set to run from the beginning of June to the end of August 2016. The EcoCash team has since reintroduced its merchant payment fees which can go up to $1.95 for a $500 payment.

Econet has since communicated this to subscribers, reiterating how the suspension of fees was only a temporary situation.

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With limited financial inclusion from traditional financial institutions like retail banks, mobile money has emerged as a leading alternative, becoming the most ubiquitous electronic payment channel and financial service network in Zimbabwe.

These services have introduced an easily accessible cash alternative that has played a major role in alleviating the current cash crisis in Zimbabwe.

In spite of all of this, they still carry steep charges which have often been cited as one of the barriers to the creation of a cashless society in Zimbabwe and forcing the financial services regulator, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to step in to reduce these charges.


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