Zimbabwe’s leading telecommunications and Technology Company Econet Wireless and the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) today announced a partnership that will see tollgates linking directly with customers’ EcoCash wallets. In a first of its kind in Zimbabwe, all EcoCash registered customers will now be able to link their vehicles with their mobile money wallets, load their EcoCash toll wallet in advance and enjoy express convenience when driving through toll gates.
Commenting on this innovative development, Chief Executive Officer of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Mr Douglas Mboweni said he believed the service would help travelling motorists to experience the convenience of using EcoCash while providing Zinara with a safe, secure and convenient revenue collection method. “With EcoCash, we continue to give our customers the security, convenience, affordability and acceptability of mobile money payments to buy almost everything from groceries, furniture and fuel to vegetables at the markets. The partnership with ZINARA is strategic for us as we continuously work at finding solutions for our customers in line with the cashless payments adoption vision.”
Mr Mboweni applauded the project teams from both EcoCash and Zinara for working hard to leverage technology to meet a national need, adding that the project was a great example of the power of public private partnerships (PPP) in providing relevant solutions towards the development of the country. “We appreciate ZINARA for their cooperation and commitment which has seen the deal coming into fruition today,” he said.
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The General Manager for EcoCash Natalie Jabangwe-Morris said her organisation’s aim was to support the government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s efforts in ensuring financial inclusion by providing ease of transacting for all citizens everywhere. “We have tirelessly worked on this world class innovation, following suit to developed countries where tollgate payments are pre-planned and pre-paid to provide auto access.
The state of the art value proposition is not the ordinary Pay Merchant but a specific solution unique to ZINARA, which allows users to link a mobile phone wallet with a registered vehicle for auto-detection and instant access at the tollgate. The auto detection of the pre-loaded toll wallet at toll gate offers complete disruption to the manual payment method of cash and cards, saving motorists queuing time with a payment experience of under 10 seconds granting express toll access to motorists.”
To use the service, customers simply need to register their Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) by following the easy steps on their mobile phones; Dial *151#…Select Make Payment…Select Regular Payments…Select Pay Toll Gates…Register VRN. Once a customer’s ZINARA Tollgate Account is loaded, they only need to provide their mobile number to the Cashier at the Toll Gate and the payment will be automatically deducted from the customer’s tollgate pre-paid account sitting on EcoCash.
The service will initially apply to the following Toll gates around the country; 22 Miles, Chivi, Dema, Esigodini, Eskbank, Hwange, Inkomo, Lions Den, Lutumba, Mashava, Mushagashi, Naude Quarry Site, Shamva, Shurugwi, Sino, Skyline and Umguza with plans to spread it wider in the future. Currently toll gate fees are pegged at $2 for light vehicles and $3 for minibuses whilst buses, heavy vehicles and haulage trucks pay $4, $5 and $10 respectively.
Econet Wireless is one of the single biggest tax payers in Zimbabwe and has invested over US$1,3 billion into the economy since dollarization in 2009. Ecocash mobile money transfer service is currently used by over 6.8 million Zimbabweans with over $23 billion worth of transfers transacted over the past five years.