Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Econet completes EcoCash mobile money integration with NMB Bank

We just got tipped to the news that Econet Wireless – well, the Econet Services part of it – has completed the integration of its EcoCash platform with NMB Bank’s banking platform.

How to get started making your own online store

There has been a number of discussions on the issue of ecommerce is Zimbabwe. Some have predicted its success and some were sceptical that e-commerce will experience significant adoption in Zimbabwe. Be that as it may, let’s put all the debate aside and let’s go about creating an online store. After all there is no […]

Econet suspends EcoCash mobile money transfers to other networks

Unlike other mobile banking offerings that have emerged on the market, customers using EcoCash are not required to have a bank account, do not need to switch their SIM cards for new ones, and can move money across different mobile networks.

EcoCash & MasterCard, not VPayments, will ignite ecommerce in Zimbabwe

Through the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership, you will be able to use your EcoCash wallet wherever MasterCard is accepted with the option to have a prepaid MasterCard that you can also use wherever MasterCard is accepted.

Predicting an eCommerce boom in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has always been a tricky landscape for online ventures. We have seen many an entrepreneur launch an exciting platform only to see it fail. Ventures such as easily come to mind. Don’t get me wrong here; I am not saying we do not have success stories in Zimbabwe.

Econet breaks EcoCash as interconnection dispute with Telecel continues

The smooth convenience of using mobile money for transfers and payments is exceptional. The idea of being able to send money to anyone that has a mobile phone and them being able to pick it up immediately in any part of the country is something that a few years ago wasn’t imaginable. Anyone with a mobile phone!

Pay Kombi Fares with EcoCash: Adoption

The introduction of EcoCash payments in kombis was met by large scepticism in the market. Some of us doubted its practicality and questioned how the conductor was going to verify all the text messages and identify who made the payments. Surely the conductor doesn’t know everybody’s name and number. So does he have to check everybody’s ID. The cumbersome process of making a payment through EcoCash is also another point to consider

Econet working on an EcoCash internet payments API

Information we have suggests that Econet has been working on an internet payments component for EcoCash which was schedule to be released this month. The release has however, as we have been told, pushed a further and its not clear when it will be available to web developers and eCommerce companies to use.

What everyone should know about bitcoin

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you have probably heard about bitcoin. What makes bitcoin fascinating is that it’s the first currency which is not just free, as in ‘free beer’ but free as in ‘free speech’. In fact. In fact, ever since the first standardised coins were created in Western Turkey in the 7th Century BC, money has never been associated with all of the following 3: Open, Universal and Free. Bitcoin changed that.

The EcoCash mobile payments strategy and numbers: a case study by GSMA

Recently, the GSM Association released a case study report they did on EcoCash this year. The case study focuses on EcoCash’s rapid uptake since launch in September 2011 with a look at how the company has managed to register 2.3 million Zimbabweans in under two years.

More of the Afrocoin money transfer solution: the website screenshot

Last month, we wrote about a money transfer service set to launch soon called Afrocoin. With scanty information gleaned from their Crunchbase profile and website holding page, we were not sure of the details of the product it is. We are still not sure about many things, but an image sent to our tips email this afternoon gives more insight into at least their web presence.

Harare city council bill payments latest addition to EcoCash uses

Econet announced yesterday via an SMS to subscribers that residence of Harare can now pay their council bills (rates and water) using EcoCash as more practical use of the mobile money service are rolled out.

Why Skwama reloaded is real: Former top EcoCash executive now at Telecel

We weren’t sure how direct an entry especially because she referred to it as “mobile banking”. New information we have received from sources in the industry says there indeed is a more direct mobile money project going on at Telecel.

Telecel Zimbabwe considering mobile money re-entry?

Last year, Telecel Zimbabwe pulled a ‘surprise of the year’ move on all of us; A mobile operator killed its mobile money service. No one knows (well, except them and probably ZimSwitch) when exactly Skwama was killed because it was done silently, only to be disclosed when we asked about the disappeared product in September last year.

Econet Wireless & Mahindra Comviva win GTB award for EcoCash

Econet Wireless and Mahindra Comviva recently won a Global Telecoms Business (GTB) award for the EcoCash mobile money transfer project. Mahindra Comviva are the suppliers of the platform that EcoCash runs on.

Afrocoin to compete with Mukuru, Western Union, EcoCash in remittances

A new startup, Afrocoin Mobile Money, is set to launch in the coming months (or weeks,no idea right now) as a new player in the remittances and mobile money transfer market.

EcoCash DStv payment: The problems and Econet’s response

About a month ago, Econet introduced a new ultra-convenient way to pay for DStv subscriptions. A few days later, we tried it ourselves and it worked as promised; seamless!

Guide to online shopping in Zimbabwe: the introduction

Ever since the introduction of the multiple currency system in Zimbabwe, online shopping has become somewhat simpler. Hitherto problems like obtaining an internationally accepted Visa/ MasterCard, hyperinflation and limited internet connections had hampered the widespread adoption of e-commerce.

New Zim and US eCommerce site, KhayaShopping, launches

Without any widely adopted internet payments platform, despite the existence of Vpayments, and some EcoCash internet payment trials, eCommerce in Zimbabwe is struggling to take off. But there are startups that are moving in early regardless, positioning themselves for when the Zimbabwean will rely on the internet to shop.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe full year profits down by 16%

Today, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the company that has the lion’s share of the mobile telephony & broadband business in Zimbabwe, announced at a press briefing their annual financial results the period ending February 2013.

Zim government approves tax increase for telecoms & “mobile banking” to fund elections

A report in the state owned Herald newspaper today says that government has approved an increase in taxes for ‘mobile network charges’ and ‘mobile banking charges’ apparently to fund an upcoming general election. The revelation was made by Zim finance minister Tendai Biti yesterday as he addressed the media on the state of the economy. […]

EcoCash integrates to DSTV for pay TV subscription via mobile money

If you thought being able to pay for your DStv at a supermarket till point was convenient (it was, we tried it), this is just going to be awesome. It’s one development we know most middle income families have been waiting for.

Of banks, EcoCash, mobile money agents, platforms and great customer care

Recently I had to change banks because the one I was banking with is apparently going under. And Their customer care service is at its worst but that’s not the issue; I was essentially I was told by the executives at the top was that they couldn’t let me withdraw my money (we’re talking small middle income amounts here) and that I should stop pestering them.

Bitcoin, a currency and payments opportunity for Zimbabweans?

The money system is broken, and no one knows that better than the Zimbabwean who watched helplessly as institutions – government, politicians, bankers – they trusted to look after the value of their money conspired and eroded hard earned savings to nothing over a few years.

Mukuru launches mobile prepaid debit card in South Africa has just announced the launch of a new cellphone based debit card in South Africa. It something like mobile banking services locally, except this is optimised for existing Mukuru services in addition to using the card for regular banking and point of sale. The new card is backed by Standard Bank.

New Econet Services company a response to plateaued telecoms business

In October last year, it emerged that the Econet Wireless Group had formed a new company to drive the EcoCash mobile money service. Econet Services. The new company wasn’t “launched” or “announced” formally in the market, as far as we could tell at least. The change was treated subtly by Econet in as far as the market was concern.

Press Release: Econet launches virtual debit card

Zimbabwe’s largest mobile phone company, Econet Wireless, has unveiled an innovative functionality on its mobile money service EcoCash which allows a cell phone to also operate as a virtual debit card.

Econet introduces EcoCash Debit Card, a mobile phone to POS payment solution

Earlier in the day we learnt and posted that Econet would launching a mobile phone to POS payment solution tonight. We’re just from the event, and most of the information we had is what was announced tonight. The company is introducing its own POS terminals to accept payments from EcoCash mobile wallets. The products is called EcoCash Debit Card.

Econet explains why the new EcoCash tariffs are cheaper overall

When we first posted the announcement of the EcoCash Tariff review by Econet a few days ago, we noted that small amounts, that is most value ranges below $50, had actually become more expensive, while the larger amounts are significantly cheaper.

Econet reviews EcoCash mobile money transfer tariffs

Econet has announced through adverts in the press the ‘reduction’ of tariffs of its mobile money transfer service, EcoCash. The move follows a directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and general pressure from the market to review the charges. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, in his 31 January Monetary Policy Statement, issued a directive to mobile operators to review their charges by end of March 2013.