Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Econet hires former M-PESA top talent for EcoCash

Japhet Aritho, former Head of M-PESA Product Development and Operations at Safaricom When we attended the EcoCash tour yesterday, two developments at the company stood out: A new hire, former Safaricom executive Japhet Aritho (Head of M-PESA Product Development and Operations) has joined the EcoCash team as Chief Operating Officer of Econet Services. And yes, […]

EcoCash: a summary of developments on merchants

Earlier today we attended a tour of the EcoCash mobile money service by Econet. Basically Econet invited a group of journos and bloggers to sample the service themselves, apparently, so that when they write, they write with full knowledge and experience of the service on the ground. It makes sense really and we’ve been waiting for the […]

Econet says more than 200 kombis now accepting EcoCash

Last week we reported that Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, is in the process of introducing its  mobile money service, EcoCash, in the transport sector. We got a tip from a student at one university where the company had, apparently, rolled out a pilot. We just got a press release from them that says more than 200 […]

Econet increases EcoCash mobile money transaction limits

Econet, Zimbabwe’s largest telecommunications firm, and now arguably the largest mobile money transfer services provider in the country, announced recently the increase of daily and monthly transactions limits for its EcoCash service. The changes were effected on 25 September 2012. Where previously an EcoCash user had a daily spending limit of US $500, the amount […]

Mobile money for public transport: EcoCash in the Kombi

Today, a friend pointed us to a development on the EcoCash for business front. Specifically, in the public transport sector. Apparently Econet is already trialing its mobile payment service in Kombis (local Zim colloquial for public transport minibus). The friend, a student at the University of Zimbabwe says he started noticing the development yesterday. In […]

EcoCash mobile money registered users now over 1.7 million

As Econet celebrates the first anniversary of its mobile money product, EcoCash, the company has announced that the service has grown to over 1.7 million registered users. In a press release sent out today, the company says this makes it the second fastest growing mobile money transfer service in the region after M-Pesa. EcoCash was […]

Telecel reveals they killed off the Skwama mobile money service

Remember Skwama? It’s the mobile money transfer service which Telecel Zimbabwe started introducing back at the end of 2010. It was launched in January 2011 but before long, its ads and general branding disappeared almost completely. We just learnt the gradual disappearance was deliberate as a decision had been made to let Skwama “die a natural […]

ZimSwitch on eCommerce opportunities in Zimbabwe for startups

When we posted the report of the BarCamp Zimbabwe 2012, we promised to follow up with an audio of  one of the presentations. This one titled “Opportunities for m-commerce and e-commerce in Zimbabwe for technology entrepreneurs” that was delivered by ZimSwitch Business Development Manager Adam Roscoe. Here it is. If you’re interested in the mobile […]

How tech can help: The Zesa prepaid power billing

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has been phasing out the old power meters and replacing them with the Cash Power prepaid meters like the one on the right. Zesa recently had our power meter changed, and we have been using this meter for almost two months now, and the benefits are numerous such as: no […]

Zimbabwe is more than ready for e-commerce and online shopping

This guest article was authored by Prosper Chikomo, an internet entrepreneur and author of Turning Iron into Gold: Golden Opportunities: How to Spot Them, Create Them, Make Money from Them, and How Not to Miss Them (Available on  A doubtful Zimbabwean-banker asked me the question, “Is Zimbabwe ready for e-commerce? Did you do any market research […]

ZimSwitch services update: Internet payments, Mobile Money, mCommerce & more

We have received a much needed update from ZimSwitch on stuff they have been working on these past several months. The last time we covered ZimSwitch in some depth is when they announced the signing on of 12 financial institutions to their ZimSwitch Shared Services (ZSS). They also announced then that the company was working […]

Barclays’ mobile money smartphone app Pingit launched in Kenya. Zim & others to follow

Pingit, Barclays’ smartphone mobile banking app, has been extended to Africa, with the first implementation launched in Kenya. An announcement posted on the institution’s global website says the application will be launched in additional Africa markets, including Zimbabwe, in the next couple of months. It is an app much like the CABS textacash service in terms of […]

Econet Press Release: Update on EcoCash upgrade

When you are in Europe or America, it is possible to move around without any cash in your pocket as long as you have a credit card or a debit card. Governments in developed countries have long urged their citizens to transact electronically. This is known as a ‘cashless society’. It is fast, cheap, and […]

Econet’s move to Comviva to give Zimbabwe e-commerce jetpacks

This guest article was authored by Prosper Chikomo, an internet entrepreneur and author of Turning Iron into Gold: Golden Opportunities: How to Spot Them, Create Them, Make Money from Them, and How Not to Miss Them (Available on  As great as Pattern Matched Technologies’ (PMT) platform is, the move to Comviva’s platform will certainly help push […]

Econet migrates EcoCash technology system to Comviva platform

We have been informed today that Econet is migrating the core technology powering its mobile money system, EcoCash, from a platform developed by South African based company, Pattern Matched Technologies, to award winning Indian based VAS company, Comviva. Last week, Econet announced that its mobile money system would be down over the weekend as the company […]

Talking about MedAccess mobile health with Altfin Health GM, Thembi Moyo

A little more than 6 months ago an Altfin Holdings subsidiary, Altfin Medical Aid Scheme, launched a new mobile phone based medical insurance product called MedAccess. The company became first in the market to introduce such a product, opening up medical aid insurance to previously excluded populations. But the product could only be accessed via a […]

Now 270,000 active EcoCash users, and more than 1.5m registered

We just picked up and thought we would share some insightful EcoCash stats in a report posted yesterday by the GSMA on their blog Mobile Money for the Unbanked. The GSMA got the stats from the head of EcoCash, Francis Matseketsa. We’ll just give a summary here of what we found interesting. You can read […]

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe prepares to launch EcoCash merchant services

Econet has started an advertising campaign for the introduction of merchant services on the EcoCash mobile money transfer system. The adverts, which started appearance recently in Zimbabwe’s newspapers, indicate that the additional services will be launched very soon. Here’s some of text appearing in the adverts: Very soon you’ll be able to: Pay your kombi […]

EcoCash adds 200,000 more subscribers in a month (Growth stats since launch)

Less than a month ago, Econet announced that it had connected a million subscribers on its mobile money platform, Ecocash. Yesterday, a Twitter update by the CEO of Pattern Matched, Markus Schorn, revealed that Econet has since signed on an additional 200,000 subscribers to the mobile money service since the March

Econet announces it has reached more than 1 million connected EcoCash users

Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms firm, announced today that it has surpassed the 1 million mark in ‘connected’ users for its EcoCash mobile money service. The milestone, the company says in the announcement (a thank you to its subscribers), “has been achieved in record time and is the fastest growth of such a service in the world”

POSB launches ZimSwitch Mobile powered mobile banking service

Back in march when news first broke that ZimSwitch was working with Telecel to power mobile banking for local banks, the two banks that Telecel confirmed they were working with were CABS and POSB. CABS launched its mobile banking service (branded textacash) in September. As for POSB, ZimSwitch told us exactly month ago the bank was in “live pilot”.

Through adverts in the press today, POSB has announced that its mobile banking service is available to the public.

Press Release: Telecel and ZimSwitch team up to provide mobile banking

Telecel and ZimSwitch today (Thursday) announced that they had teamed up to enable banks to offer their customers an affordable and easy-to-use mobile banking facility that could change the face of banking in Zimbabwe.

So how much does it cost to use EcoCash?

On Friday last week, Econet launched EcoCash, a mobile money service that so far looks like a game changer. On the local market at least. The concept is a tried and tested one. M-PESA has worked phenomenally well in Kenya, and Econet has read the M-PESA story cover to cover. In fact it is its similarity to M-PESA that gives Econet the game changing potential it has with EcoCash.

The EcoCash launch event

Last night, we attended the official launch for Econet’s EcoCash mobile money service. Even though the event started some 40 minutes late, there was a series of polished presentations, the highlight being the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Governor’s participation as guest of honour.

Mobile Moola, FBC’s ZimSwitch Ready mobile banking service launches

Last week, we posted that ZimSwitch was launching a mobile banking service called ZimSwitch Mobile and that it would start rolling out the service to banks before the end of September, with more banks following. Immediately after we posted that article, a reader sent us a tip that the service was already live at CABS.

Econet announces the launch of EcoCash

We’ve just received a press release from Econet PR announcing the launch of EcoCash, the mobile banking service. The release doesn’t disclose much about how the service will work. Just a bit more than what we found out yesterday; that a subscriber will not need a bank account and that the service is mobile network neutral.
New information in the release is that Econet has signed up some 500 EcoCash agents across the country, and that Zimpost,

Econet to launch Eco-Cash tomorrow. No Bank Account. Cross Network.

Econet is launching Eco-Cash, its mobile money service, tomorrow. The launch will be held at the Rainbow Towers hotel in Harare. Econet unveiled earlier this month its plan to launch the service before the end of September.

We have received some bits of information on what Eco-Cash will be.

ZimSwitch to launch mobile banking platform this month

This week, we received communication from ZimSwitch that the ZimSwitch Mobile platform will be rolling out to the first wave of ‘ZimSwitch Ready’ banks this month and that more banks will follow “hot on their trails”.

NetOne to use Zimpost branch network for OneWallet mobile money

In January, NetOne announced the launch of the OneWallet mobile money service to stakeholders. This was followed two months later with the announcement that Gemalto, an international digital security company, was deploying a mobile money transfer solution for the OneWallet service.

Econet, here’s our Eco-Cash wish list

Eco-Cash is likely to change a lot of things for a lot of people. Whether you are mobile operator, a payment services provider, a traditional bank or a more modern bank just starting to offer mobile money services to the millions of unbanked Zimbabweans, Econet will in some way disrupt your business. Econet has almost half of the country’s population on its mobile network. That about says it all.

But it’s not just disruption. It’s opportunity as well. Without over-generalising, there’s a myriad of issues with payments right now and Econet has enormous potential to introduce some needed convenience. If they do it right of-course.