Zimswitch has gained an ever more important role in the national economy over the last 11 months. It started with the company being designated as the National Switch which meant that EcoCash, which existed outside the payments establishment, was brought into the fold.
The folks at Zimswitch then doubled down on that announcement with two partnerships. The first was with Mastercard, the intended purpose of this was to expand digital payments in Zimbabwe. Visa was the next payments service to join forces with Zimswitch and from what we learned this was to support e-commerce in the country.
However, the two partnerships have been geared more towards foreign currency payments online. Now, this doesn’t make sense because there are far more local currency holders than those with a prepaid USD card or a NOSTRO account.
Granted the value of USD transactions is worth more but what of the local who wants to trade in both seamlessly. In this episode of Technikari, we talk about what Zimswitch is and what problem it is trying to solve in this era of interoperability and e-commerce.
We also talked about:
- What is e-commerce in the Zimbabwean context?
- Who does Zimswitch actually serve?
- Should Zimswitch rethink its business model and become more customer-facing?
- How Vpayments failed to capture the massive local e-commerce market.
- Are the banks an impediment to Zimswitch meeting merchant needs?
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Our conversation with Tendai Mupaso the co-founder of logistics startup Yaita. It had been a while since we touched base and we thought we’d talk about the business as well as their new product the Fulfilment Centre. The product is basically a warehouse where e-commerce businesses store their inventory.
The biggest difference with a normal warehouse and what Yaita is doing, is that Yaita will handle delivery of those goods. Your customers can order through you but you don’t have to ship anything, all of that is done by Yaita.
Marondera based produce exporter Nhimbe Fresh and its US$1.4 million, 1.9MW solar project with Sun Exchange.
Lastly, we had a conversation with Aidan Gamble from Inclusive Access Zimbabwe about the digital divide that exists for people with disabilities in the country.