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Supa Mandiwanzira Thinks EcoCash Dominance Could Be Disastrous

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The Minister of ICT and Cyber Security, Supa Mandiwanzira told The Fingaz that EcoCash dominance in the mobile money sector could lead to a disaster if not curtailed.

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According to Mandiwanzira, there are two stats that are a cause for concern. Firstly, EcoCash processes about 90% of transactions in the entire mobile money field and, secondly, 98% of the country’s mobile money subscribers are on EcoCash as well.

What happens when EcoCash crashes?

The problem with this, according to Supa, is that if the EcoCash systems were to fail at any given time the disruption would affect the entirety of the nation. The government wants inter-operability so that reliance is spread across EcoCash, Telecash and OneMoney.

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Mandiwanzira also said:

“You cannot hold an asset that you were given by the government through a license and think it is entirely yours. Others must access what you have built but they should do so for a fee, a reasonable fee.

…that is the message we have given to Econet, NetOne and Telecel. You own the frequency to the extent of your license but we can also tell you what to do.

This reminds me of the infrastructure sharing that the government tried to force upon Econet in 2016. Though talk about this has kind of ceased lately, Supa’s statement implies that the government is in a position to force interoperability or whatever else they want since they consider that by licensing operators it means they can tell them whatever they want.

Some time back the RBZ said they were not going to force interoperability on mobile money operators as they preferred to see the market develop towards there by itself.

What’s happening elsewhere?

Regulators in Kenya made interoperability mandatory and sometime this month Safaricom’s M-Pesa will work alongside other mobile-money platforms even though M’Pesa had 66% of the mobile money market. 66% is less than EcoCash’s 98% monopoly and may complicate the negotiations for interoperability. Econet’s move to open up EcoCash to NetOne subscribers may be a way of avoiding interoperability. Tanzania was the first country to launch wallet-to-wallet interoperability back in September of 2016.

Let us know what you think of Mandiwanzira’s views on EcoCash ’s dominance in the comments below.

Remember Techzim has done a write-up on EcoCash looking at the EcoCash journey from pre-launch to its current position. The strategic decisions that Econet made are studied in detail. In easy to read language, the evolution of EcoCash is analyzed. To buy the Techzim Insights on Ecocash write-up simply send the fee of $4.99 to Techzim Merchant Number 83688 and then send an email with the reference number to admin@techzim.co.zw

Supa MandiwanziraEcoCashRBZ

Supa Collins Mandiwanzira is a Zimbabwean politician, entrepreneur, former government minister and former journalist. He is the former Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security in the Republic of Zimbabwe. Mandiwanzira is the founder of Zimbabwe's only privately owned radio station, ZiFM Stereo through... Read More About Supa Mandiwanzira

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is the central bank of Zimbabwe. Its offices are located at number 80 Samora Machel Avenue in Harare. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe operates under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act, Chapter 22: 15 of 1964. The Act provides... Read More About RBZ

40 thoughts on “Supa Mandiwanzira Thinks EcoCash Dominance Could Be Disastrous

  1. Atanga super uye …we know he has beef with strive and is always coming at econet ….mobile money is an open market if anyone has a better product than ecocash let them bring it to the table and market it effectively…otherwise kana pasina please sit your asses down.

  2. The answer is simple, you don’t force people to like your services you have to make your services attract customers. Why is it people choose ecocash over tele-cash or one wallet?
    Supa can’t detect which shop we want to buy from, its either l choose Ok over TM.
    And we are not prepared to fund companies which are always having drama in courts due to corruption.

  3. I think on this one Supa is spot on, we cannot have one company monopolizing the mobile money space, it will lead to exploitation of customers. We might not see it now but it’s already starting.

    1. you dont know what you are talking about. This is business you cant hate a business because its doing very well.

  4. Such belligerent talk from our govt is what chases away investors. It’s not Econet’s fault that Telecel & Netone have done such a poor job of marketing their products. Besides they have both been around longer than Econet. I wonder what the minister would say if it was one of the other 2 that was dominant.
    Sad that he has to resort to threats like this.

  5. No one is being frog marched to use Ecocash! What happened to OneWallet. Supa sakagadzirirwa size kwayo naMakamba wakungovukura

  6. All monopolies are problematic. That is a fact anyone who knows anything about business and society can not dispute.

    1. Agreed Chris. Monopolies are dangerous to economies. Econet got a head start and must be allowed to operate. But they must do so in an environment that allows competition to exist. I am even surprised that the ICT Minister is the one talking about this…. we have a monopolies commission and they are silent..

  7. Mina ngithi ubungunungunu from Hulumendi is very suspicious. Zim Gov must show us that they are willing to help us sort out financial messy we are in .. Today I wanted to send funds to my mother in rural Tsholotsho so that she can go see the Doctor – Dololo. She got money in her cellphone but no one can cash out … Kodwa on that they have a point allowing other networks to share resources may help,… but as I said Zim Gov hardly come up with sustainable solutions …….. Zizakesibone bakithi ..

  8. I wonder if it was NET one with the huge market size that econet has, would Super Chibuku be snging the same tune? Its not like anyone was stopped from chasing that market share we cant reward poor performers at Telecel and net one fire them or give them a Market share target to chase not to assist them via legislsation inonzi startegy wangu

  9. The first argument makes sense.If we sorely rely on one service from one provider probably also using one server then when disaster strikes, it will not be good for us…

    But nevertheless, the motion of forcing the operators to share their infrastructure and services IS NOT the way to go. How can Telecel and NetOne want to share with Ecocash Platform which has 98% share of the market. If all 3 providers had 33% each then it would make sense. Where were they when Econet was launching and implementing EcoCash?

    Afterall why did the Government had to buy Telecel when it is an open secret that it has failed to run NetOne successfully?

    #

  10. All that this Supa Scud guy is trying to do is to give Net1 a leverage otherwise he knows Net1s mobile money platform has once failed with 1wallet now it 1money(1 mare kkkkk) so he wants to save the Gvt face before they introduce a 3rd attempt maybe this time they will call it 1purse. How net1 is operating is exactly a smoke screen of how the entire gvt system is performing….what will they do to the cost of marketing Ecocash? wanongoda zvemahara ..1 day it was sharing infrastructure now its sharing the products who knows mangwana it will be sharing the actual dividends

  11. Super what nonsense are you talking about. ? Ecocash is as good as Cabs , stanchart, or posb. Why so intrested about ecocash. Please back off

  12. off topic
    techzim please enlighten me your way abt this os called tizen,bought a new phone ine tizen os is it gud or bad

    1. It’s a custom OS made by Samsung. They are using it in their feature phones. Performance is ok but could be better. I faced issues downloading apps in Zimbabwe and even updating them. Apparently Zimbabwe was not supported. It has however been a success in Samsung Gear Smartwatches and their Smart Appliances like Smart TV’s and Smart fridges.

  13. In my point of view if the argument is crashing down of the system then why not make sure they ensure the provider i.e. Econet has enough redundancy structures and such to prevent failure rather than force them to share thier well earned spoils with the reluctant first comers to the market. With that kind of logic DSTV would be forced to share structures with Kwese and my 2cents company just because whats if it goes down, no 🙅🏿‍ to this kind of reasoning…

  14. Thought we’re in a new era of “open for business”😳😳😳, but Super Chibuku still to catch up! Which investor can put money in a country where after working for your market share you will be forced to share it? ED if you’re serious about “open for business” reign in this Super guy!!!

  15. I think Supa has a point. We allowed ZIMSWITCH by CABS to also dominate banking industry. ZIMSWITCH is a monopoly. What happens when ZIMSWITCH crashes? Oh by they way, can we extend inter-operability to VISA, Mastercard and ZIMSWITCH. We want to send money across VISA, Mastercard and ZIMSWITCH. Thank you Supa! You are a genius. By the way can we also extend breaking monopoly on NRZ and ZESA, they can share infrastructure with new players.

  16. Zvakambotanga sei kuti Econet iyende pamberi when in fact Net-one was the first to get licensed.Companies which are managed through State Procurement Board always underperform yet a lot of the personnel vane maMasters.

  17. Haa ana Supa they are dangerous people yielding powerful offices. It reminds me of the saying, ‘Ukapa benzi makey epa Hozi, munona ndondo.’ Supa ibenzi rine makey epa Hozi and we are all doomed.

  18. Guys imagine a situation where you could not transfer your money from one bank to another, how would you send money from CBZ to NMB client. That is the situation which Supa is trying to address and it makes sense.

  19. People must separate issues here. Its a logical fallacy, ad hominem, to dismiss an argument simply because it comes from someone you dislike. Whatever wrong Hon. Supa might have or not committed the reality is his argument on this point is right on the money. 98% ownership of an entire nation’s mobile platform transactions is unsafe and unwise. Already Ecocash, by Econet’s own admission, is struggling to handle the transactions hence the duplication the market has seen. Couple that with the virtual monopoly we have already seen fuels speculative profiteering tendencies not only from the price point Econet sets but also from its agents and dealers.

    What Hon Supa proposes has precedence in sensitive sectors particularly financial services if Kenya can regulate M-Pesa with 66% to force interoperability then surely 985 should be regulated too. I put it to you that Supa’s calls for regualtion are long overdue. The government must provide leadership in safeguarding the populace. The breaking up of anti-competitive organisations and monopolies is common place Google has been ruled against and charged and penalized several times in its recent history for trying to create a monopoly.

    Econet can easily use ZimSwitch for example to become inter-operable allowing for bank-to-wallet, wallet-to-bank and wallet-to-wallet transactions.

    In our dislike for political persons let us not throw the baby with the bath water, Supa has proposed a noble protective thing for us. its a great concept that needs to be implemented in the same spirit it has been articulated.

    1. @ Chokwadi. I am sure you do realize that with these politicians, it is never about the people.They have learnt to put “the people of zimbabwe” as their greatest concern, but no. It could be that econet has benefited a great deal from the cash crisis govt created and Supa is eyeing the billions in transactions by ecocash. When that money passes through telecash and one wallet, it is easy for govt to abuse it the same way they are abusing the universal services fund. It is never about the people. They collect millions in USF and argue that they want to penetrate areas that are least served by network providers, but celebrate the erection of one network booster in a year. This tendency to always protect telone and telecel as infant companies when they are actually older than econet is the one that kills innovation in these companies because they are having it easy….if they don’t invest in network infrastructure, big brother potraz will just grab it from econet, if they fail in selling their mobile money service, potraz will force all to share the market, what’s next, Econet’s Kwese to share with telecel tv? This coupled with corruption at these institutions is the failing of their own making. That ecocash is experiencing failures due to overwhelming demand is not econet’s fault, it simply means their product is damn good, there is no reason for some minister to issue threats. Even if they were not failing, i am sure they would come up with some “laws” to just line their pockets. This is never about the customers. To think charges will come down as soon as they start sharing is naive. Supa has his eyes on the monies.

  20. Monopolies are no good for anyone. However, interoperability responsibility seems to have been hi-jacked by the monopoly already, by allowing Netone SIM card users to be able to access Ecocash from their Netone numbers without a reciprocal action. That means the market share will practically stay at 97% in favour of Ecocash or Ecocash will grow. The fundamental problem with the other Mobile Money platforms such as Telecash and One Money is Brand Position, which will most probably be followed by transaction costs when one is moving money from Ecocash to One Wallet or Telecash and Vice Versa. Next and most important thing are the Ecocash kiosks. This apect is not being shared and its the main head ache for the other players, distribution network for cash-in and cash-out.

  21. Each time Supa opens his mouth faeces comes out of it. Elsewhere ICT is such a critical sector of the economy that its headed by individuals with impeccable credentials. In Zimbabwe it’s headed by someone with chicken brains.

  22. While a monopoly is not favourable… This won’t help there are other options… Why has zipit not taken off… They are actually a direct competitor with ecocash…. They have app and usd and swipe card…. If they reduce their prices and market…. They could give ecocash a run for their money and take over rtgs… Can shimmering answer this for me

  23. Those going for the interoperability please help me out here because I am lost. @Chokwadi mentioned about relying on ZimSwitch, wouldn’t that also burden that platform when they switch to it and we go back to the initial what if it crashes down problem. Isn’t it that interoperability will only mean that transactions can be done between wallets and if it is enabled and Econet goes does then how would interoperability help because you won’t be able to transact the funds in your wallet to or from Econet, unless you are saying your funds will be accesible from either platform 🤔.

  24. Tizen os is developed by samsung. Its more or less the same like android except that tizen has a tight security protocol- you cannot install pirated apps , except only in tizen store , no background apps that chew your data, its a data saver for real , no virus attacks to the system , updates are done on wifi only ,Ive been using it for a year its good for a light user but the only worrying thing is its still new and the store hasn’t got many apps like android but they say they are constantly developing apps to match android….

  25. THE PROBLEM IS SOME ZIMBABWEANS ARE JEALOUS OF THE SUCCESS OF OTHER HARWORKING ZIMBABWEANS..SO THEY ONLY HAVE A PLAYER HATING DEGREE.. THEY HATE THE SUCCESS OF STRIVE MASIIWA

  26. Maybe 98% of those doing business on Ecocash & Econet DISTRUST the govt-meddled entities which can hardly operate on their own like little spoiled brats. We have Potraz which should be creating a “level playing field” have they failed? If so, disband them pronto they’re wasting taxpayer’s funds. The real monopolies which need attention are ZESA, Air Zimbabwe, NRZ, ZMDC, GMB etc useless entities draining the fiscus…..and of course Zanu PF which has run the country as a one party state ruining an otherwise prosperous economy.

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