EcoCash: now a must-have for every business.

Trycolyn Pikirayi Avatar

Just the other day I was in town and passed by Esats. I liked what I saw displayed from the outside so I decided to go in and inquire on the prices. I was both impressed and surprised by their pricing, their clothes are were quite cheap.

Well for me, cheap is the number one activator of the impulsive buyer in me so I went ahead and indulged in a little “shopping spree” for myself.

I had to mention shopping spree in quotes because I didn’t see it through. It failed right at the till. Why? Because they were not taking EcoCash! I mean who doesn’t take EcoCash in this day and age???

A few days ago, we posted the 2017 stats of the EcoCash ecosystem in Zimbabwe and I think it would be unwise for any business especially retail stores to not adopt this platform considering how widespread it has become.

It’s amazing how some businesses choose to maintain the same ways of doing business regardless of a changing climate, needless to say how dangerous this type of rigidness is. Change is inevitable and it should be embraced even more now since technology is being developed and adopted at a faster rate than it was a few years back.

By the way, it’s not that one incident that inspired this article but it totally sparked this realisation. I could count a few more times where I have been disappointed by renowned shops or other service providers such as Tilus and Eagleliner – Bulawayo for not taking EcoCash and/or plastic money.

The other baffling fact is that, unlike these renowned shops, most M’seyamwa (inconspicuous) shops do take EcoCash and even have merchant codes – something you’d expect from the more established shops.

Well, I am not sure if the problem is with these shops or it’s with acquiring the merchant codes but either way, businesses are losing a lot of money due to such slacking. In fact, I don’t know whether it’s just in Bulawayo where shops (yes including some Simbisa outlets, commonly known as Innscor) especially in the morning, can actually dismiss a customer simply because they have no change.

This is completely unacceptable for any business! I’m tempted to say more on the subject but let me stick to the topic at hand. The point is, this type of behaviour can be done away with if people can just use EcoCash since there won’t be any need for change.

Let’s just say on average these shops lose two customers per day because either they do not have change or because they don’t take EcoCash. And say each of these customers wanted to buy $10 worth of goods, basic math would tell me they lose:

$20 per day

$140 per week

$560 per month

$6 720 per year!

So, they might be losing ‘just’ two customers per day but the cumulative impact of this is huge and therefore should be considered seriously. Another thing to note is that once a customer is annoyed by a certain service (like I was at Esats), the chances of them coming back to the same shop are very slim… unless of course the shop is a monopoly. Therefore, a lot of clients are lost over something that can be easily rectified and that’s definitely not worth it.

Question is: If I can figure that, why won’t they???


  1. Mk

    Tried to pay for my passport with Ecocash and they refused the payment, that’s in Harare. Did some shopping at Xtep and they also refused ecocash, had to resort to a few “bond notes” I had just to get the items I wanted.

    I guess this is a lil bit of naive by some businesses in the country.

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    You use EcoCash so you expect every mechant to support it, just like those who use ZimSwitch and VISA compatible cards expect every merchant to have a POS. Those who use TeleCash expect every merchant to support TeleCash and so-on.

    From your perspective it’s a must have, but mechants don’t want to use EcoCash and Telecash as merchants because it’s an involving process to use your funds. Individuals and museyamwa accept EcoCash because it’s easier to to use later on as it’s not a merchant account. EcoCash should make business easier for the merchant too, but it doesn’t.

    Aside from that, there is the 10-15% EcoCash charges that a lot of mechants are charging. That does nothing to promote the EcoCash eco-system to consumers. Even some shops with POSes are insisting POS is only for $20 purchases and above. Apparently, merchant hire POS machines, which ideally shouldn’t be the case. The merchants are getting less convenience, so they’d rather not use these payment systems.

    1. Ini

      Ecocash has handset merchant, comes at no extra cost, all you need is a mbudzi handset. Works fine for me.

  3. Fusion

    The problem is getting your money out ecocash then converting that to US dollars to replenish stock. All this costs money and the merchant would rather keep stock then sell at a loss…. We can’t​ all burn money. Don’t expect the cash price to be the same as the ecocash price….. The other thing is ppl are not going to leave their profits in ecocash…. Cash just works way better for that

  4. Drigombaki

    I can understand your frustration but lets face it, money stuck in an eco cash wallet isnt of use to every business. Stock sometimes has to be bought outside the country so if you have lots of money stuck in ecocash its useless and or very expensive to get it to hard cash USD.

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