Propping Up NetOne At All Costs, Gvt To Distribute COVID 19 Funds Exclusively Through OneMoney

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar
NetOne, price

A quick glance at the most recent POTRAZ telecoms sector reports makes it clear that EcoCash is still the mobile money service used by most Zimbabweans with a market share of 91.9% and 98.9% of the total value of mobile money transactions.

We were pretty surprised when it was brought to our attention (on good authority) that the Ministry of SMEs intends to distribute COVID-19 relief funds exclusively through NetOne’s OneMoney mobile money platform.

Whilst OneMoney has been on an upward trajectory the government disbursing these funds exclusively on one platform raises many questions.

For starters, NetOne only has 6.4% market share and the Ministry of SMEs intends to counter this by distributing NetOne lines first and then follow it up by funding those lines they would have just given to the beneficiaries of relief funding.

Whilst that seems like a great plan on the surface it discounts the fact that building a merchant network takes years of work – as evidenced by EcoCash. Currently, OneMoney’s merchant network simply isn’t as strong as that of EcoCash.

This begs the question, why not just distribute the funds using whatever platform citizens use? If a recipient is already on OneMoney why not give them the money via OneMoney and if they are on EcoCash instead why not use that? Heck, even those on Telecash (0.7%) should be able to get relief funds on their preferred mobile money platform.

The government did something similar with the $200 lockdown payments, announcing that the monies would be distributed to those who have OneMoney mobile money wallets.

The fact that a government entity would see this crisis as an opportunity to strengthen NetOne and OneMoney’s standing in the market is pretty telling of how government interference in local business is the order of the day.

Is this a good thing for OneMoney

For OneMoney this will be a double-edged sword. They’ll acquire a significant number of new customers because of this and some of these customers may continue to use the service after the money has been disbursed because of the cheaper transaction charges.

Inversely, a number of the beneficiaries will just return to their EcoCash lines simply because their relatives send them money via EcoCash and EcoCash has a superior merchant network.

From a product development perspective, NetOne will also take a hit because they are not earning these customers by making OneMoeny great. I mentioned before that EcoCash has built a merchant network and payment ecosystem over 7 years – that comes with many lessons and NetOne are being handed a customer base by the government instead.



  1. Anonymous

    Again the Techzim writers are back on EcoCash payroll

    1. Tapiwa

      But they are telling the truth tho, Netone has failed time and time again and u give them such a huge responsibility kkkkk shame! Anyway, lets see if these funds wont disappear again like the Command Agric thing

  2. Chahwepu

    Pretty much anyone will do this kind of thing. In business, sometimes there’s no conscience.

    Do you think if Econet had the opportunity to do this, they would take one second to think this way? Hell, no!!

    I think it’s up to Netone to keep their heads above the water, because now their product is going to get some attention. If they fail, they should know that these opportunities are rare

    1. Wello Wello

      I think you may have missed the point a bit. The issue here is not netone itself, it’s govt’s choice to distribute solely through them. Netone is just a happy passenger (until the money runs out).

  3. Anonymous

    So emotional Mr Journalist, and clearly you are not well informed if you are of the opinion that ONE Money will only now get attention because of this. Research, research.


    It won’t work tho, netone had many opportunities to out smart Eco cash but haaa they are only good in hiring and firing CEOs

  5. gauri mahajan

    great content very good ideas and thought

    1. T1

      Honestly how can you do that. Does Net1 even have the capacity. Why can’t you give Ecocash the funds. Almost evryone owns an econet line and registered on ecocash. Don’t take advantage of the situation while people suffer. This is pathetic 😭😭😭

  6. Welly

    The ZANU Of style! Nhasi tatodeedzwa kwedu zvichinzi we will give you net one lines ist so that u get cash but we refused . Net one does not have the proper structures for all this thing. They will fail as before, Let ecocash run this hey

  7. Timothy Matope

    Is this government for real. Is this the time to be busy marketing dead wood, it’s only a few months ago that NetOne changed its CEO because of mismanagement.

    Anyway I will tell you this it’s only yesterday that I saw an elderly lady from my community with grey hair trying to buy groceries from on of these large supermarkets I will not say the name but what fazed me is that the elderly lady was told we don’t accept OneWallet why not go get its swipe card so that you may transact. To me after she had spent all that time in a queue, I asked my self where in the world will she get the onewallet card during this lockdown or are these people even being credited the money in the NetOne lines that they were issued.

    Chaora chinhu ichi government institutions now taking advantage of Covid_19 to market their product where were they all along and if ts the new CEO’s strategy then you guys are made.

    Thank you TECHZIM for this article. It helps us understand the type of people we are dealing with during this Covid_19 pandemic. My question would be how many will leave the supermarkets with nothing after waiting for hours in those long queues anticipating that they will be able to use the OneWallet platform for payment. It’s wrong to try and manipulate by endangering our elderly people and giving false hope.

  8. Cherline

    With 6.4% netone neither has the resources nor the system ability to pull this off…. I believe econet is well capable to handle this with over 90% market share

  9. Cherline

    With 6.4% netone neither has the resources nor the system ability to pull this off…. I believe econet is well capable to handle this with over 90% market share

  10. Peruse

    ThisIsAScandal. Varikuda kudya mari apo. Simple, they know that NetOne wont pull it up & they insist on one money tho kkkk shame shame! FailedState

  11. Winny

    Parikuda kurohwa bag apa chete, so sad taking advantage of the situation. ThisIsAScandal

  12. Anesu

    Zimbabwe will never be well amana! We can’t have this nonsense all the time. If people knew how important it is to have reputable companies that have been known and are know to manage these services is, it was wise to give Ecocash such platforms considering history and to do away with the fear of this money getting into personal hands is ummmmm Apo they recently fired their CEO on fraud charges ummmmm iyi mari inogona kurova pasii

  13. Anne

    This will disappear again Shame on US!

  14. Brid

    its tipical of us africans in both cases… econet on the other hand wants to be bully in the sense that it even refused to be on ZIPIT platform…. why not flexible, when someone wants money in the bank you are forced to send on the ecocash then wallet to bank uchingopiswa nemaCharges. Be flexible i should be able to get my money without any hustle across all network… interact with all banking systems…. so let it be!!!

    1. Ronald

      Tru, i do not understand why ecocash wants to stay off zipit, it can only be for selfish reasons to maintain a closed network that forces more people to join it to receive and send. Telecash and One money have been on zipit for a while now.
      Govt is actually right not to promote such monopolies. They must encourage competiton in the market.

  15. Ronald

    1. We are not aware how netone got this, maybe there was a tender and they won it.
    2. Assuming that it was simply awarded,it is still only reasonable for govt to support their own enterprise. It is their company after all and they would be foolish not to support it.
    3. Govt agencies have in the past used ecocash across the board in making payments to beneficiaries without even considering netone and telecel. In my view that was wrong. It was wrong to assume that all beneficiaries had ecocash cz i for one did not and those in my shoes had to open ecocash just for that.

  16. Anonymous

    Complicating things big time. If it’s about charges,why not simply negotiate with Cassava and make life easier for all Zimbabweans. I thought this pandemic is bringing us together than before

  17. Chris Mbanje

    I think its a good idea to give Netone the chance to prove themselves a better alternative to the Eco cash monopoly. I say so because in the past two months only, the eco cash platform has been offering very poor services to its customers, especially me, yu can’t imagine yu have your last $200RTGS in your wallet, yu want to try to purchase a Zesa token and you are told the platform is down,.. Yu then try to transfer the money to your bank account and it never reaches you bank account,… Yu try to get help from the Customer care service, they tell you to wait for 72 hours,. Let’s be honest guys, is this not because you don’t have any competition, it good to have a secondoption in everything, it makes everyone work harder to become a better service provider. For your own information, i have my wallet to bank transfer which failed to appear to my bank account dating back to27 February 2020,im tired of calling the customer care service, coz i have i have been told to wait for 72 hours for the 15th time now,.. Can you please tell me, will I find my money with the value it had on the 27th of February.. I think netone ‘one money is a great idea, plus it’s charges are reasonable,. Eco cash nolonger have a heart for it’s customers, they charge whatever they please, check their tariffs, it’s no longer according to production costs, but jus taking advantage of the economic status, which noone has no other option, or has nowhere to report these imbalances…

  18. Modly

    Hey, I really like this blog and it was very helpful for me to thank you so much. Also, check out our blog.

  19. moddedmod

    Hey, I really like this blog and it was very helpful for me to thank you so much. Also, check out our blog.

2023 © Techzim All rights reserved. Hosted By Cloud Unboxed