If you are using EcoCash, the mobile money service from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe you probably received a message notifying you of changes to DStv payments made via the service.
According to EcoCash with effect from the 21st of October 2016, DStv payments were limited to a maximum of US$100 per month per account.
EcoCash has explained this as something brought on by the cash crisis in Zimbabwe and that these new payment terms will be reviewed if the situation changes.
Econet is yet to provide additional information on how exactly the cash crisis in Zimbabwe affects DStv payments made through its platform. Our guess is that this could be EcoCash trying to deal with the way some people are “buying cash” by offering to pay for utilities like DStv electronically while pocketing the cash that other account holders would have used instead.
The value added service is already offered by EcoCash without the extra transactional payments that other providers like banks attach so EcoCash still has to clear the payments (which have also likely increased in volume) at the end of the day.
With a cash shortage affecting the way in which payments are made and transactions cleared payment providers are faced with challenges that they need to address with certain adjustments. In EcoCash’s case, this limit on DStv follows another change it made to its EcoCash MasterCard debit card limit, reducing it to $1,100 from the US$5,000 limit.
It’s highly likely that other services that are paid for electronically will also have their limits adjusted, especially with the introduction of the bond note.