ZIPIT upgrade in the works: This puts serious pressure on EcoCash

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

Zimswitch is working on an upgrade that will make using it similar to the mobile money wallets we use on a daily. ZIPIT Smart as it will be called is launching in the next few days and after getting early access, we think they are on to something big.

What problem will ZIPIT Smart solve?

Small merchants cannot take payments from banks at the moment. They don’t have POS machines because those are simply too expensive limiting most smaller merchants to mobile money (mostly EcoCash). ZIPIT smart allows these merchants to create a merchant account that then allows customers to make ZIPIT payments the same way we already make mobile money payments. The merchants will simply have merchant codes on display and customers can pay using those.

This is a big deal because before ZIPIT Smart, if a merchant wanted to accept ZIPIT, they would have to display their account number. This was far from ideal because;

i) Account numbers are long and that leads to many mistakes when purchasing;

ii) Sharing your account number publicly is not the safest thing.

Having a merchant code instead, allows the transaction to work in a much simpler fashion.

Whilst Zimswitch is targeting SMEs this will be a big deal even for bigger retailers as it allows people to just transact from their bank account (i.e when they don’t have their card on them).

How will it work?

ZIPIT Smart will work similarly to mobile money;

Zimswitch will have it’s work cut out in terms of building a merchant network for this but if they do it, I think ZIPIT Smart will put a lot of pressure on EcoCash.

Added to that is the fact that mobile money wallets have extreme transaction limits right now, paving the way for ZIPIT Smart to be the payment solution of choice whenever people are spending close to or above ZW$5000.

We will continue to share more information about this exciting product over the next few days.


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  1. Bulls n Bears

    EcoCash should just apply to have a payment switch licence

    1. Mwalimu

      Good news for money changers

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    It is just an easier way of making payments that one can already do via ZIPIT. I don’t see the risk in displaying bank account numbers, it is just that most bank account numbers are long.

    More likely than not, merchants will be required to hold an account with a particular bank, though they could also implement a transparent pass-through to an existing held account.

    I don’t think it’s a game-changer, because you can pay merchants via ZIPIT as it stands. There won’t be a sudden surge in payments, because you can now use a short merchant code instead.

    1. Garikai Dzoma

      The risk is in the fact that the numbers are long. Have you ever tried to sendmoney via USSD on ZIPIT? Some bank accounts are 13 digits long and you are on a timer because if you take to long to type the account number your transaction times out. If you speed through the process you risk sending money to the wrong account.

      1. Imi vanhu musadaro

        The claimed risk is put across as, ”Sharing your account number publicly is not the safest thing.” , not anything to do with the length of account numbers.

  3. Jackson Tungamira

    We know ZIPIT has issues, transactions not committed, and being reversed after 48hours, banks failing to process transfers at times. The number of transactions is going to increase if it replaces mobile money, in fact money changers will use the so-called ZIPIT smart, translates to more & more transactions!! Just think of the long queues emanating from ecocash errors, imagine we had errors with ZIPIT already, are we gon’ use ZIPIT and have our money hanged for 48 hours? This is interesting.

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