We recently got a tip to the effect that EcoCash had silently raised charges for EcoCash biller charges, slapping a $5 fee per transaction;
Ecocash biller charges have shot up to $5 flat per transaction irrespective of amount. Was shocked today when sending various amounts for my insurances viz $7, $10, $18, $:19, $23, $47. All these transactions attracted $5 charges each. This is avarice at its worst as the fee is exorbitant and disproportionate to the amounts being sentTip from one of our readers
After going back and forth investigating – we were left pretty confused as the biller payments we made (ZESA and ZOL) didn’t result in us incurring any extra $5 charge. During our investigation, however, we ended up noticing that there are some non-consumer services whose fees have been increased or even introduced.
Merchant to merchant transactions now come at a cost of 1% of the amount transferred being charged. Merchant bank to wallet transactions have increased as well. The maximum one could pay was $30 and it is now $50. Bulk payment lines seem to have fees of 2% + $5 which was not the case before.
It’s not clear because EcoCash has not communicated to the affected parties that they are now incurring more charges and we are left to guess what the charges actually are.
Earlier this year, EcoCash sought approval from the RBZ to raise charges and whilst they initially got approval, at some point between getting that approval and upping the charges RBZ changed their minds and the new charges were never announced officially.
It now looks like EcoCash has increased fees for those services that would not be easily noticeable. As much as we sympathise with them on the fact that the central bank flip flopped on approving fees, it is still not acceptable that the mobile money service would just increase a class of fees without communicating the changes.
Small businesses particularly informal ones are the most affected by these changes. This is also the class of businesses that rely on EcoCash the most. Whatever could be going on between EcoCash and the central; bank, the mobile money operator should still treat merchants and agents with the respect they deserve.
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