In early September ZimSwitch announced the launch of a new product called ZIPIT Smart. The platform aims to give users an EcoCash-like experience but through the funds in their bank accounts. This means that you can transact as you would on mobile money but without the transaction limit.
On top of avoiding transaction limits, ZIPIT Smart is also looking to solve a major payments issue faced by small merchants and informal trader. POS Machines are very expensive and with the way things are in Zimbabwe small merchants are priced out. ZIPIT Smart solves this problem by effectively making mobile phones POS Machines of sorts. Traders can set up merchant accounts and get merchant codes similar to those offered by EcoCash. The platform is available via bank mobile apps as well as USSD which means anyone with any kind of cellular phone can transact using it.
The only drawback to ZIPIT Smart is that at the moment not all banks are covered. The list of banks where the service is available are CABS, NMB, BancABC, FBC, MetBank and Agribank.
In what appears to be a drive to get more people transacting using ZIPIT Smart, ZimSwitch has announced that ZIPIT Smart will be holding a transact and win promotion.
The outline for the promotion is simple enough, you transact with ZIPIT Smart and send a screenshot of the successful transaction you made and stand a chance to win. Draws for this promotion will be held weekly and winners will be notified via Social Media and WhatsApp.
In the promotional material published by ZimSwitch, there was no mention of what prizes would be up for grabs.
This is just me speculating but the timing of this makes me think that EcoCash Rewards could have played a part in this. ZIPIT Smart is one of the big developments that arrived recently with a shot at challenging EcoCash’s dominance.
EcoCash Rewards for all it’s faults, like the fact that customers are still waiting to redeem their points and winnings, can be seen as something of a success. The whole angle behind the rewards system was to get more people transacting using EcoCash. Judging by the chatter on social media, largely about redeeming points, it seems that a good number of people were using they EcoCash to get the points pay-out.
Now, it stands to reason that ZIPIT Smart is looking to do the same. There has been little mention of it since it launched (from what I have seen) and this makes me believe that ZimSwitch could be trying something to what EcoCash did with its rewards program.
If this promotion works, it could mean that ZIPIT Smart will begin to make proper inroads into the payments space. To deepen those tracks ZIPIT Smart will also have to cover more banks.
It will be interesting to see how this promotion goes and if it will get more people with banks that have ZIPIT Smart to use it more often.