The Telecommunications Industry regulator, POTRAZ, has reportedly engaged Econet to seek clarification over the breakdown of their mobile money platform. EcoCash started working again yesterday afternoon after facing “technical challenges” since Monday.
POTRAZ were not too pleased…
The Director General of POTRAZ, Dr Gift Machengete, said:
Our concern is with the consumers getting served properly. The quality of service has got to be of the highest level, so if we have problems with quality of service of this nature it is incumbent upon the regulator to find out why and to take action.
The Minister of ICT and Cyber Security, Supa Mandiwanzira, also chimed in saying:
The concerns that Zimbabweans are raising demonstrate that Zimbabweans are significantly moving away from cash and they are beginning to use mobile money. Therefore, it means that the mobile money providers must ensure that they are efficient and that they deliver efficiently.
I expected Supa to take this opportunity to site the importance of interoperability. Maybe he felt that it was unnecessary to kick EcoCash when it was already down.
Will RBZ be looking into this?
The RBZ has not yet officially stated their position on the issues surrounding EcoCash but one would also think they will definitely be looking into this outage and the inconvenience it caused.
The way EcoCash dealt with this issue has been less than ideal. They blamed the disruption on technical challenges:
Dear Valued Customer
We apologise for service disruptions you may be experiencing in trying to transact on EcoCash. Our technical team is working to resolve the technical challenge and we will inform you as soon as normal service is restored. We regret any inconvenience caused.
EcoCash doubled down on their apology and released another statement:
Ecocash advises that following scheduled system maintenance work, some customers have been experiencing intemitent transaction challenges.
Our technical teams are working to resolve the challenges as soon as possible.
EcoCash sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused.
It’s good that they apologised but these apologies didn’t do much to make people less angry. I’m certain more transparency would have bettered the mood surrounding this outage but the transparency that people yearned for was just not forthcoming.
It will be interesting to see what POTRAZ decides to do after they have looked into this situation.
Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, Econet Airtime Recharge
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
Gift Kallisto Machengete is a Zimbabwean company executive who is currently the Director General at Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe. Dr. Machengete is also the former director of finance and administration in the Central Intelligence Organisation. Read More About Gift Machengete
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe POTRAZ) is the regulatory authority of Zimbabwe's telecommunications sector and was established in terms of the country's Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05. POTRAZ was established in February 2001 Read More About POTRAZ