So… without any warning EcoCash has started charging merchants 0.3% per transaction made by a customer.
EcoCash makes its money from the consumer (me and you). Whenever we pay for a service using the platform, we are charged a fee in correlation to the amount that we pay. The addition of this 0.3% means that EcoCash is effectively double-dipping, they are already making money from you the consumer through their charges and EcoCash is now charging the merchant for the consumer’s transaction.
This move affects the merchants in a bad way.
After the business day or period is done. Merchants have to liquidate their funds through the banks as per the order from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Every time they do a “wallet to bank” they have to pay a flat fee of ZWL$100 (per batch) regardless of the amount. This fee is pretty reasonable and means that merchants can pay suppliers and associates without eating too much into their margins
Speaking of suppliers, merchants usually pay companies and individuals for services through the bank. So when a merchant does a wallet to bank they are charged by EcoCash, and then they incur charges when they are transferring money to their suppliers through the banks. Now merchants have another fee to pay on top of all that.
The 0.3% charge per transaction by EcoCash means that merchant margins are being eaten into further. This will mostly affect smaller businesses who are working on a fine line and may also affect the larger corporations.
EcoCash has to choose what it wants, if they want to stay on this course then they have to remove the ZWL$100 fee for merchant wallet to bank. The preferable alternative is to remove the 0.3% charge altogether but I think if that is to happen, it will be in the same way the charge was introduced.
Fragmentation and aggregation attacks.
Come one, come all there is a lot of money at stake...