Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Ecocash Cashout Rates Have Fallen On The Black Market

While Zimbabwe certainly still has a biting foreign currency crisis one thing appears to have gotten less severe for some reason: The Cash crisis, which is still definitely a problem appears to have gotten less severe.

In June last year whenever I wanted to cash out money from my Ecocash wallet I had to part with “20%” on average. I have Ecocash agents seem to have a weak grasp on how percentages work. Often what they mean by 20% is that they will charge 20% on the amount that you actually Cash Out.

  • For example, if you get to an agent and cash out $100 you will get $80
  • In cases like this, they claim they are charging 20% when in actual fact they the cost would be 20/80 i.e. 25%
  • Sometimes they get it right, especially if instead of asking them how much you get if you cash out a certain amount, you ask them how much you should cash out to get a certain amount.

Anyway the average Cash Out premium last year was 20% although it varied wildly during Mthuli Ncube’s early months. At one point the Cash Out rate was a steep 45% as people panicked.

The rate is now a manageable 5%

The Cash Out rate in a lot of the suburbs I frequent varies a lot. At the end/beginning of most months, the rate is high as there is high demand for cash. Where I stay they usually charge 10% for coins and 15% for notes during this period. The same rates are usually applied whenever civil servants get paid. Which makes sense as the government is the largest employer in this country thanks to an ailing economy.

During the off-peak days like right now on the 19th which is mid-month rates vary from 5%-8% if you want coins and 9%-12% if one is looking for notes. As my colleague has so ably pointed out notes have a higher value because they are easy to carry and count. They are especially a hit with money changers who shun coins.

While that might seem like a lot these rates are quite comparable to the rates we used to pay banks before the RBZ intervened at the beginning of the cash crisis. Also to reiterate what I have been saying, there is still a cash crisis out there with most people who want cash having to either pay a premium for it or spend their productive lives in queues.

Both choices are not ideal and should be solved in a functional economy. However, the black market rates have fallen to what one may argue are tolerable levels compared to the hell we were going through before. I look forward to the day when I don’t have to pay someone to give me back my money.

Ecocash has given up

Ecocash (the higher-ups) also seem to have given up the fight against the practice of agents charging a premium. It’s not like it is particularly hard to spot this. I mean why would one cash out  $12.67?

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

6 thoughts on “Ecocash Cashout Rates Have Fallen On The Black Market

  1. Learn to do simple math. “In cases like this, they claim they are charging 20% when in actual fact they the cost would be 20/80 i.e. 25%” it is 20/100 as $100 is the amount you send them and they retain 20% as a fee leaving you with the remaining $80.

      1. I stand with the author here. He is looking at the effective cost of withdrawing/cashing out money.

        If you cash out 100 and get $80, the effective charge is 25%.

        The author is very right in his claim.

    1. No guys. There is a quoted rate and an effective rate when doing this maths. 20% is the quoted rate by the Ecocash agent, but the rate is being quoted on the gross cash-out amount, and you get the remainder.

      However, effectively, you walk away with just $80 from the transaction, and what you have paid is no longer a “PREMIUM” as it used to be, but a returntion fee, and the math changes significantly.

      If 20% is a “PREMIUM” as claimed, one pays a premium on what they get, and a 20% premium on $80 is definitely not $20!

      Hence the author is justified in claiming that the agents charge a 25% premium in this case….and his math is very perfect.

  2. Where in particular can i get these rates 9 – 12% for notes as i am stuck with a bit of rtgs? Where i stay the rates are still 20% for notes.

Comments are closed.