We’ve been trying to wrap our heads around EcoCash’s new rewards program; EcoCash Rewards. We looked at the CashBack App that powers EcoCash Rewards but in a bid to fully understand how this thing works we got in touch with Shingi Munyeza who happens to be the Chairman of the Cashback App in Zimbabwe. We asked him a few questions to better understand how it works and you can read the interview:
TZ: What exactly is CashBack App?
SM:Cashback app is a mobile-based loyalty program that rewards customers with cash and other rewards for every payment they make at participating outlets.
Merchants benefit from increased sales, loyalty and customer information without having to set up their own rewards program. Through our digital platforms, Merchants will be able to access more detailed customer information, push surveys to customers etc.
TZ: I noticed it’s in multiple countries. Is it founded in Zimbabwe or it’s operating in Zimbabwe under a license?
SM: It’s in 21 countries globally operating in 12 countries, mainly Europe and Asia. We have secured the license for Africa. Zimbabwe is the first country to implement such a comprehensive roll out. We are now working on Zambia, Botswana, Kenya and Mauritius.
TZ: How many merchants are already participating in Zimbabwe? How about in other markets?
SM: We have just under 20 national brands participating and working on our initial target of 50 which we hope to achieve by June 2019. We then proceed to the second tier brands which are not national but command high volume transactions and market share where they operate.
TZ: How many users do you have?
SM: At the moment we are in the process of onboarding the Ecocash customers which are in excess of 8 million. This will offer the merchants direct access to these consumers for their products and services and in turn, the customers will benefit from discounts which will afford them real money back into their Ecocash wallets.
TZ: How will the EcoCash rewards work?
SM: The customer who uses their Ecocash wallet to purchase in participating merchants will then be awarded points based on the discount the merchant is offering. After accumulating a minimum of 20 points the customer has a choice to transfer those points as cash to their wallet. Each point is equivalent to 1 RTGS dollar. They can use that money for any other purchase and not necessarily on participating merchants and they can cash that as well.
TZ: How do you expect the rollout of CashBack App to go?
SM: We have started with Ecocash Rewards, after making sure we have reached our initial targets we will then move to other financial services players who will act as transaction verifiers whilst we onboard their clients. At the moment we have cleared all technical issues with seven banks in Zimbabwe. We are now working on the implementation framework. After we have consolidated the Zimbabwe market we will then move to the regional markets as stated earlier.
TZ: You are Chairman of CashBack App, what exactly do you do in that role?
SM: As a chairman and shareholder, my role is to drive the strategy and implementation for the company together with my partner Kim Hodgson who is the CEO.
TZ: Why is this important to you
SM: My experience in running businesses on the African continent gives me the edge to lead in strategy as we roll out the plan starting with Zimbabwe. CashbackApp is a growing global brand and Africa has the biggest opportunity in driving e-commerce. Zimbabwe is leading due to its high electronic transfer utilization, one f the highest in the world. In Zimbabwe, this will act as an incentive in banking inclusion as well as formalizing the informal sector.
TZ: You were linked to an investment in the Fintech space towards the end of last year, please share about that
SM: I guess there might have been confusion referring to CashbackApp. Due to its versatility, you can see where the confusion could have arisen. We have invested USD4 million in this platform for now. There are other products we will introduce on the same platform after we are done with the first phase of our implementation.
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