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#Mobile Money

EcoCash agents accused of selling cash

Mobile Money In Africa, Mobile Services, Telecoms

After we published an article on the list of banks you can link with EcoCash last week a few of our readers alerted us to the practice of EcoCash agents “selling money” purposefully depriving the public access to money they rightfully deserve.

With 6 million subscribers, 26k agents, and 20k merchants, EcoCash has slowly become people’s primary banking option. The EcoCash mobile money ecosystem has been able to source and distribute millions of dollars in cash through its mobile appeal but is having its reputation tarnished by the illegal activities of some of its agents.

It has been alleged that agents are now in the habit of:

  • Requesting payment in kind for service provided,
  • Requesting kickbacks when providing you with cash outs,
  • Providing cash-outs to only close associates, family, and friends,
  • Harvesting cash to then sell to the highest bidders,
  • “Spinning” cash on the illegal black market to gain maximum benefits.
Such illegal activity stems from the current cash crisis plaguing the country. The current situation has seen many unable to access hard currency for days on end which is evident from long queues witnessed at banks daily across the country. Simple Economics tells us when there is high demand and low supply, the price goes up.
On the black market, cash can be purchased at rates between 10-20%, that is, for cash, you do a bank transfer of say $1000 to the “dealers” account they can give you between $800-$900 dollars in cash. Therefore, whoever runs a cash based business can find ways to benefit from this system.
When reached for comment, Econet had the following to say:
….Our Agents are not allowed to charge customers any extra amount above the applicable approved Cash-Out tariffs automatically deducted from the phone. We encourage our customers to report such malpractices by advising us of the Agent Code on toll-free 114/111 or alerting their nearest Econet shop….
Therefore it is important that you alert Econet to any suspicious or evident cash “dealings” EcoCash agents are engaged in via their toll-free number 114/111. You could also reach them via their Econet Facebook | Econet Twitter.
If you have witnessed or been prejudiced of cash from an EcoCash agent, please share your experience below. 

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