With Zimbabwe seemingly in a transition to dollarize, a growing number of companies are now demanding payments in US dollars. Those who still accept bond notes will still be quoting their prices in US dollars but you can make a payment in bond notes or RTGS/mobile money (EcoCash predominantly) using the current exchange rate of USD: bond notes or RTGS/Ecocash.
It can be a whole lot of work to be always going on the internet or calling people to check or ask the prevailing rate before you decide to make a payment. ZeeRate is a chatbot that makes your life easier to check rates anytime in the comfort of your WhatsApp. Yes, ZeeRate is WhatsApp chatbot. It’s a part of a growing list of WhatsApp chatbots that Zimbabwe developers are developing.
It now seems that whenever there is a nationwide problem in Zimbabwe, it’s spurring the development of chatbots as in the instance of a fuel chatbot by Intelli Africa Solutions for the fuel crisis and now the ZeeRate chabot for the money crisis . You need not wonder why the chatbots being developed are, more often than not, WhatsApp chatbots rather than Facebook chatbots or any kind of chatbot that uses some other platforms- its because WhatsApp is the most used communication platform right now in Zimbabwe.
How Zeerate works
ZeeRate works kinda differently to other chatbots that have recently been introduced in Zimbabwe. With other chatbots, you only have to add the chatbot’s number and text a certain chant like ‘Hi’ and then you start to interact with the chatbot.
I don’t know if you have heard about Duta WhatsApp chatbot before, but that’s pretty much how the ZeeRate WhatsApp chatbot works like. With the ZeeRate WhatsApp chatbot, you save the chatbot’s number AND THEN create a group or add the number to a group (the difference). You then send a text like Hi to start to interact with the chatbot. You see the difference is the that with the ZeeRate WhatsApp chatbot is that you have to create a group, rather than just start to interact (in the chat, not the group) with the chatbot after you save its number?
I’m not sure why Zeerate chose that tedious way for people to communicate with its chatbot. My uneducated (and stupid) guess is that maybe they want to have more people communicate with their chatbot system. But to what benefit?
[Update]: You can try out the bot by saving this number: 071 922 0415