EcoCash & Mahindra win GSMA award for best mobile payments solution at Mobile World Congress 2017

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
MWC 2017, GSMA Awards, EcoCash Awards, Natalie Jabangwe Morris, Econet Zimbabwe, Mobiquity

Vamsi Madhav, VP, MFS at Comviva and Natalie Jabangwe – the General Manager of EcoCash

EcoCash, the mobile money service that’s owned by Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network operator, Econet, was recently named Best Mobile Payment Solution at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Global Mobile (Glomo) Awards for 2017.

The award was received in partnership with Mahindra Comviva, Econet’s global technology services vendor which is behind the EcoCash platform and several of its service iterations.

EcoCash came out tops in the Connected Life Awards category and beat nominees that included Telenor Pakistan with its Easypay service; Tigo Rwanda’s Tigo cash digital payment solution; Vodafone, Carta Worldwide & Raphael’s & Sons’ Vodafone Wallet and Mahindra Comviva’s own Mobiquity Wallet Hybrid HCE solution.

The Glomo Awards which are conducted by GSMA – the global body for mobile operators and their services (which also coordinates the annual MWC) – have been honouring advances and successes in mobile services since 1996. EcoCash’s parent network, Econet was a winner in 2014 for its Energize the Chain Vaccine Project.

The accolade comes at a time when EcoCash has firmly established itself as the leading provider of mobile financial services in the country.

According to the telecoms regulator POTRAZ, at the start of the fourth quarter of 2016 EcoCash had around 6.6 million registered subscribers (3.2 million were active) and it handled 97.8% of all mobile transactions in Zimbabwe.

Mobile transactions have played a significant role in providing convenience in a market that is currently facing significant cash shortages.

Services and features under EcoCash which include day to day payments, integration with bank accounts, processing of remittances and MasterCard integration have positioned it as one of the best solutions for the movement of money in Zimbabwe.

image credit – Mahindra Comviva


  1. Anonymous

    Where the comments at??? Come on guys, lets not hate… A BIG CONGRATS to EcoCash!!!

  2. Batsirai Chikadaya

    An award? While their agents openly and illegally sell cash to desperate citizens at a 10-15% premium all over Harare and the informal sector starting to reject EcoCash payments?

    Sips tea….



    2. Macd Chip

      Econet is not responsible for individual behaviour! that area of burning money is for RBZ to take off

      In business, you do not force people, you attract them with services.

      That kind of thinking Batsirai is welcomed in Zanu where you force people. In business, it doesnt work.

      1. Batsirai Chikadaya

        Lol, please mate, save us with the political rhetoric…

        What has EcoCash done, as a service provider, to educate its clients that the business of agents selling cash is illegal? Radio? TV? Newspaper? SMS? Zero…

        Are you saying its not EcoCash’s responsibility to educate its clients of illegal activity being done on its platform? That affects millions of its active users access to money?

        By the way agents are contractually bound to EcoCash hence it is “illegal” Agents work out of EcoCash branded outlets and record transactions in EcoCash books, so when a client walks up to it, they expect an EcoCash service, not being fleeced!

        If the agents were roaming around in plain clothes or doing transaction out their car boots your argument may have held some weight…

        Its failure to react to such a situation that renders a service irrelevant, thats the real ZANU thinking.

        @ me with a better response Macd Chip

        1. Macd Chip

          Ok so econet is bad, there agents are bad unruly thugs who are exploiting users, fair enough!!

          Tell me who is being force marched to use Ecocash?

          You said it yourself that people in informal sectors are starting to reject Ecocash, fair point, again its there choice and rights.

          It business, bad behaviour make you loose.

          Ecocash is not the only mobile money platform around is it? Did government directed everyone to use Ecocash?

        2. Ini

          I got this SMS from ecocash

          Urgent Notice. Please note that it is illegal for an EcoCash Agent to charge you extra on a Cash Out transaction. Call 114 to report such practices.

      2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

        Econet is responsible for individual agent behaviour. There is a contract you sign that governs your behaviour, it enforces that you behave in a certain manner, or otherwise face penalties such as expulsion or suspension. The people who voted for Ecocash to get an award are likely to not have been privy to this information about agent behaviour. We shouldn’t just go around clapping hands based on misguided patriotism, even within the country awards are given annually for Best XYZ for people who aren’t totally deserving. That’s the mentality you are supporting.

        1. Macd Chip

          So if people agents doesnt respect the contract they signed, it becomes Econet’s problem?

          1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

            Exactly! That’s common sense. If you don’t respect ANY contract it is the other parties in the agreements problem to deal with.


    Ecocash is the best!!!!Big ups.

  4. Macd Chip

    Well done Econet, at least there is hope of business and keeping Zimbabwe on the world map as a place with potential.

  5. Timba

    @Batsirai Chikadaya…..I m not trying to defend econet here but i think you are just being emotional than objective. The logic behind EcoCash is brilliant…my father’s pension here in Chegutu (we stay in peri-urban) is now getting straight into his ecocash wallet since last month & we are now able to buy in the local supermarket using merchant code……and you “hate”. Your attitude hinders development in our country Batsi. Credit shld go where it deserves. Can u imagine a situation where we had no ecocash, onewallet and telecash in this day in our country today??? Keep it up in innovating to all our telecom companies,

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      You make it seem like before Ecocash people couldn’t access their pensions. Anyway, it’s Econets responsibility to make sure it’s agents are behaving in a legal and responsible manner. You can’t simply collect administrative charges and turn a blind eye to corrupt/illegal activity on your agent network, once you do, it means that you are more concerned about your “bottom line” than your clientele. Let your father try and cash-out his money and he’ll be singing a different tune.

      1. Timba

        LOL…the pension issue was just an example….read the logic behind my example. kkkkkkkkk. My point was only to say ecocash as a solution to cash access deserves applaud there. Yes what some ecocash agents are doing is very wrong, I am in agreement with you. I close my case….kkkk

        1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

          A different narrative to your example is, “my father’s pension here in Chegutu is now going straight to his Ecocash since last month, since then he hasn’t been able to cash out his money at fair value (or even at all), the only place he can get something close to fair value is when is buys from the local supermarket at charges way higher than Zimswitch charges, closer to VISA swipe charges”. Thank you EcoCash.

          1. Sue

            Come on “Imi vanhu musadaro”. Can I ask you one question & i need an honest answer. How do you respond to a situation where money changers are selling US$ with Bond notes…110 bond for U$S100? Can you equally blame RBZ for those people doing such unethical activities? Surely not. We have a cash challenge as a country and EcoCash won the Award for a mobile money SOLUTION period. If ECOCASH doesnt work for you, you are not forced to use it, it is just one of the the many payment solutions at your disposal and you have a choice to use or not to use it. Be a proud Zimbo hey. I for one use EcoCash & it has saved me a lot of hassles from going to city council to pay bills to my medicals you name it. Lastly, y wld you subcribe people to cash-out to use the came cash to purchase when they can simply move it via Mobile money. Y shld one cash out $10 to buy goods for $10 when there is an option to simply move it electronically? Our beautiful nation has a cash challenge which we all know and we must commend our local companies (Econet, NetOne and Telecel) for bringing such innovations. To me the award is not for Econet but for our country. TOGETHER we can build our beautiful country as Zimbabweans.

            1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

              Yes, we can blame the RBZ for introducing a legal tender without sufficient legislation to make such activities illegal. But, that isn’t the issue at hand, the issue is that Ecocash has the legally binding framework in place for it’s agents and is doing nothing about additional cash-out “charges”. I don’t use Ecocash or Telecash fyi, for the sole reason that I believe that the charges are extortionary. I am a proud Zimbo, but like I said it’s misguided to clap hands for someone solely on the premise that they too are Zimbabwean, yet I don’t endorse their activities. To correct your view, mobile money platforms weren’t introduced to alleviate the cash crunch, they were introduced way before this current chaos. As to why people want to cash out, it’s because not everyone or every shop uses mobile money, as well, what happens when the platform is down. To add to that, why should you prescribe what a person is to do with their hard earned money in their mobile wallet. It just sits there not accumulating interest, you are actually better off cashing out and investing it than have it sit idle (assuming you have that kind of money).

              1. Sue

                Thank you my bro/ sister. Good Points taken. We are blessed to have wide choice as Zim customers……EcoCASH, Telecel, OneWallet, GetCash, plastic money by banks etc etc ……..All up to us as individuals to make choices based on progressive discussion/ opinions coming out from feedback from yourself and all the other commentaries on the platform. I close my case,

  6. Enest

    When a company from your own country wins an Award at a Global event & a citizen of that country shoots that dwn…….mmmm come on Batsi. Yes you cld have problems but isnt the solution of EcoCash smthing to celebrate in our country where hard cash is a currently challenge to get everywhere you go.

  7. Llodza

    You are all barking the wrong tree. Econet cannot monitor the more than 20000 registered agents. Does the RBZ allow you to sell their Bonds? You must take issue with them because they are not only the owners of the Bonds but also the guardians thereof.
    Turning the argument political: it’s ZimAsset. We where told to innovate and to indigenize and venture into the informal sector. That’s what those harpless fellows are doing. A goat eats where it is tethered!

    1. Macd Chip

      Instead, goverment must be monitoring its citizen activities to make sure they are not abusing a very good product which is keeping youth employed. It is in the interest of Zanu to keep Ecocash running smoothly as it is fulfulling its ZimAsset and the 2million jobs target

  8. follow

    We love you ecocash

  9. Me

    Congrats to Ecocash…the award says best mobile payments solution and ecocash rightly wins beacause of its ecocash ecosystem there are very few things you cannot do with ecocash as far as mobile financial services are concerned..of course agents are stealing people’s money but ecocash has send several msgs to agents as well as all their sim card holders(econet customers) advising customers to report such activities.but well if we as customers dont report such is it still ecocash’s fault.

    1. Rookie

      Nyaya yekushaya cash is a common problem not tied to one platform or EcoCash. How come banks are allowed to say mari yapera or hapana mari?

      IOT is here. Techzim can you run an article and shed light on Zim’s position.

    2. prince

      @Me I haven’t received that txt in my phone

  10. Rookie

    Congrats Econet and EcoCash!!! We can’t take anything away from the platform, the various packaged on offer including the use of NFCs which is somewhat not in many countries in Africa. It’s a good day for Zimbabwe.

    I hope the other guys at Telecel and NetOne will also start to be honored at such prestigious events soon. This is good for the country.

    Thumbs up to all innovative Zimbos who are working hard to put our beloved nation on the World Map!!

    Thank you Techzim for celebrating our own!! Zvema agents izvo hazvineyi ne product, the way it works, packages offered, integration to other players and relevance to the market.

    Telecel and NetOne ngavauyewo nezvimwe tifare!!

  11. Macd Chip

    Its amazing that l can use my foreign Mastercard Credit card to pay direct into EcoCash wallet via Western Union and the money is transfered in less than 5mins.
    The only issue l found is that Western Union does not send into any EcoCash with 078…. numbers.

    That is where Cassava comes in(formely Chitoro). The transfer is instant but only takes Visa Electron from my part. That means l can now send money into Ecocash from anywhere in the world.

    Such visionary and innovation needs to be honored!

    At least the world is watching and giving credit where it is deserved

  12. Anonymous


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