Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


What does the RBZ directive mean for EcoCash and other mobile money platforms?

Yesterday the Reserve Bank followed up a statement made by Nick Mangwana on Friday night. The original statement looked to totally ban mobile money platforms. The government was planning to take a:

“Series of prudent and coordinated interventions to deal with malpractices, criminality and economic sabotage perpetrated by the “wolves in sheep skins amongst our population””

The overwhelming consensus was that the fallout from the original plan was going to adversely affect the millions of people who rely on mobile money. After observing the public’s displeasure and maybe realising that they shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water, the Reserve Bank came out with a more muted version of Information Secretary Nick Mangwana’s announcement.

So… What did the RBZ statement mean for mobile money wallets?

These are the press releases from EcoCash to subscribers and other partners respectively concerning the matter:

Dear Valued Customers,

Following communication from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, please be advised that with immediate effect the following changes apply:

• All Agent and Bulk Payer lines are suspended This therefore means that Cash in and Cash out services have been suspended until further notice.
However, please be advised that all other EcoCash services continue and are operating normally.

We would like to thank you our customers for all your continued support.
Live Life The EcoCash Way!
DIAL *1 51 #




Dear Agents, Bulk Payers and Merchants,

Please be advised that we have received a directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which states the following:

1.All Agent and Bulk Payer lines have been suspended until further notice with immediate effect

2. Merchant to Merchant and Merchant to Individual transactions have also been suspended until further notice.

Pay Merchant transactions continue to operate normally.

Please be also advised that all other EcoCash services continue to operate normally.

For enquiries please email:
Live Life The EcoCash Way!
DIAL *151 # Live life the EcoCash way


Bulk payments are to stop with immediate effect.

“A Bulk Payer is any organization (for profit/non-profit) that makes bulk transfers of money to recipients using the EcoCash platform.

Recipients use their mobile numbers as accounts to receive money. This function is ideal for payroll administration, aid distribution etc”


This means that any business that used bulk payment to distribute salaries or make any large money transfers are no longer able to do that on the EcoCash or any other mobile money platform.


Merchants are no longer able to move money out of their mobile wallets except sending money to the bank. Effectively businesses will no longer be able to pay employees or other businesses using EcoCash. Money has to go to the bank first. If one’s employees have no bank accounts then it’s going to be a tricky one.

Unlike the original release by Nick Mangwana, pay merchants will not be affected by the ban. Which means purchases from stores, ecommerce businesses, utilities and other goods or services will not be affected.

The statement from the Reserve Bank also said that all mobile money liquidations should be done through the bank. This means the only way money will move out of the overall EcoCash platform is through banks. An individual can send money to others, pay for stuff in stores etc but cannot ‘cash-out.’ Businesses can only receive money through EcoCash but can not utilise it directly through EcoCash. All they can do is to move their money to bank accounts.

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