Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Warrant permitting ZRP to raid Econet unconstitutional – Fadzayi Mahere

On Friday, the Magistrate’s court issued a search and seizure warrant giving the ZRP permission to raid Econet Wireless offices. The Criminal Investigation Department sought the warrant on the basis that they suspect Econet Wireless to be “involved in money laundering”. In fact, the allegations are that Econet Wireless and subsidiaries created and issued “non-attributable […]

Zimswitch: a quick refresher on what it is and what it does

The Reserve Bank this afternoon issued a statement that made Zimswitch the national payment switch. This means that EcoCash will be relegated to just being wallet and will have to use Zimswitch as the universal transaction hub. Now, as more information about this comes out, and we see how EcoCash responds to this. Let’s have […]

With a national switch on the way, EcoCash needs to focus on innovation now more than ever

A few days ago, my colleague Tinashe wrote an article about EcoCash and the Econet group’s need to innovate build compelling products. Today the RBZ announced that ZimSwitch is going to assume the role of the national switch and EcoCash will be required to be interoperable with this switch. Given all this, I thought it […]

EcoCash to become just a wallet, RBZ says everyone must connect to ZIMSWITCH

So this happened: DESIGNATION OF ZIMSWITCH TECHNOLOGIES (PRIVATE) LIMITED (ZIMSWITCH) AS A NATIONAL PAYMENT SWITCHIn accordance with the provisions of the National Payment Systems Act [Chapter 24:23] and the Banking (Money Transmission, Mobile Banking and Mobile Money Interoperability) Regulations, Statutory Instrument 80 of 2020 (the Regulations), the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) wishes to […]

EcoCash is under threat – gvt to blame BUT underlying problem is EcoCash/Cassava/Econet

Yesterday a colleague mentioned that they were denied using EcoCash at a service station. All other forms of payment were acceptable except EcoCash. This didn’t surprise me. First let’s make sure those who have been living under a rock are caught up: On Friday the 26th of June 2020, the Government of Zimbabwe declared that […]

What does the RBZ directive mean for EcoCash and other mobile money platforms?

Yesterday the Reserve Bank followed up a statement made by Nick Mangwana on Friday night. The original statement looked to totally ban mobile money platforms. The government was planning to take a: “Series of prudent and coordinated interventions to deal with malpractices, criminality and economic sabotage perpetrated by the “wolves in sheep skins amongst our […]

Govt saves face, RBZ statement on EcoCash ban: reversing from the original plan

Yesterday the government through Nick Mangwana issued a statement declaring that mobile money was suspended with immediate effect. Naturally the public wasn’t happy and all three mobile telecommunications companies released statements to the effect that they would wait for a directive from the relevant authority. It seems like they have revised the original plan, probably […]

Telecel completes the set, all three telecoms respond to the mobile money ban

Telecel has completed the set. Now all three of the country’s telecommunications companies have all responded to the announcement by Nick Mangwana last night. Their statement reads: “To our valued customers Please be advised that the Telecash mobile money service is operating as normal. For all inquiries SMS or send a WhatsApp message to 0732150150.Call […]

OneMoney and MyCash respond to mobile money ban: platforms are still working

NetOne and MyCash have followed up Econet’s response to the announcement made by Information Secretary Nick Mangwana last night. NetOne Dear Valued Customer, We would like to advise that OneMoney services are still operating normally. Do not hesitate to contact us on the numbers provided below, for any queries and enquiries. OneMoney, it’s One time. […]

Confusion, contradiction, lies – Breaking down the ban on EcoCash and others

Of course we will keep going to town about the most stupid decision announced by the Zimbabwean government ever. Scrutinising the statement that announced the suspension of all mobile money and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange word for word will give us volumes upon volumes to criticise. I’ll try to pick a few words to illustrate: […]

Government bans EcoCash and other mobile money. Ok… So what are we supposed to do now?

The government last night through Information Secretary Nick Mangwana decided to suspend all forms of mobile money. Now the reasons behind that decision aside, what does it mean for all of us who rely on EcoCash or OneMoney? A lot of the people were unbanked before the advent of mobile money. Many relied on physical […]

Kuhumana: Video of gvt official struggling to explain why they suspended EcoCash

Nick Mangwana, the Permanent Secretary in the Mimnistry of Information is the one whose signature was on the ridiculous statement that announced the ban on mobile money. Here is him tripping over his words to justify the move: The usual line about EcoCash regulation Mangwana is not the first government official to bring up some […]

Remain calm and keep transacting, EcoCash tells its customers

In a sudden and a hugely ill advised move, the government yesterday announced that they were suspending all mobile money transactions with immediate effect. As expected, EcoCash has responded. Here is their statement to their subscribers: Dear Valued Customers, We are aware of a statement purporting to have been issued by the Secretary for Information, […]

EcoCash reduces transaction limits

Given that EcoCash has been under severe regulatory scrutiny over the past few weeks, its no surprise that the mobile money platform has taken the step to reduce transcation thresholds for certain transactions. The affected transactions can be found below: Affected customer Old Daily Limits (ZW$) New Daily Limit (ZW$) Old Monthly Limit (ZW$) New […]

EcoCash Airtime Recharges Aren’t Showing In Customer Accounts.

Customers have been tweeting out that they were buying airtime through EcoCash but weren’t receiving the funds. When they checked their EcoCash balance the money for the transaction was deducted. The problem started late last night and some still haven’t received their airtime or had their money returned to their EcoCash accounts. An Econet Spokesperson […]

EcoCash Launches Promotion To Promote Bank To Wallet Transactions

Most news around EcoCash has lately been about the continuous restrictions being placed on their platform by regulators. Such restrictions have implications on the platform’s utility (usefulness). It looks as if the mobile money company wants to pre-empt any possible exodus of users off the platform. We don’t think there is much risk of an […]

OneMoney Crosses Half A Million Subscriber Mark – How Did They Get There?

The latest POTRAZ report is out and OneMoney grew exponentially in the first quarter of 2020. 18.4% growth means NetOne’s mobile money service now has 555 225 subscribers. This time last year they had just over three hundred thousand subscribers so it’s interesting to see the mobile money service add over quarter of a million […]

[Update] EcoCash Merchant To Agent & A Host Of Other Transactions Blocked By FIU!

EcoCash seems to have blocked Merchant to Agent transactions though it’s not exactly clear what their reason for doing so is at the time of writing. The first hunch would be that this is yet another directive from the RBZ but if it is it’s a bit strange that the RBZ has not shared that […]

Is Twitter The Best Crowdfunding Platform For Zimbabweans Right Now?

I think it’s fair to say crowdfunding in Zimbabwe is pretty difficult if not actually dead. The first problem you encounter when trying to run a crowdfunding campaign be it for business or for donations is that most Zimbos don’t have access to the existing platforms for crowdfunding. Most don’t have foreign currency to donate […]

EcoCash Launches Online Portal For Registration Of Agents & Merchants

EcoCash has launched a self-service portal which enables agents, merchants, billers, bulk payers and payroll channel partners to submit applications without need to physically visit Econet shops. The self-service portal is open to both existing and prospective channel partners and will allow them to enter their KYC (know your customer) documents, with applications being processed […]

EcoCash Customers Wake Up To Money Deducted Into A Strange Account

You remember when a good number of EcoCash customers woke up to messages that said they had successfully registered for EcoSure and so a dollar had been deducted from their wallets. That was strange because most of these folks had not tried to register for EcoSure! A repeat? Here is an example of what a […]

Frustrated At Having To Remember USSD Codes For EcoCash? Try This App Instead

USSD menus are pretty outdated when you consider the way we usually navigate on smartphones. The fact that you have to remember the codes and then the clunky interface which is prone to user error – the experience is mostly forgetable. But since USSDs offer real utility they are not going anywhere anytime soon so […]

Can Blockchain Offer A Better Alternative To EcoCash’s Agent Problem?

It has been an interesting yet unsurprising past couple of weeks for Zimbabwe’s most popular mobile money firm EcoCash. The company has been in a row with the Central Bank which has claimed loopholes in the EcoCash platform have driven up currency exchange rates and devalued local currency – one of the major issues is […]

Full Breakdown Of The High Court’s Ruling On EcoCash Application For RBZ To Reverse Directive

3 weeks ago, the Reserve Bank issued a directive ordering mobile money operators to ban agents that were transacting above a threshold of ZW$100 000. After effecting the ban EcoCash would have to register once again to meet certain KYC demands. EcoCash responded by filing an urgent chamber application to the high court seeking the […]

EcoCash Has No Right To Represent It’s Agents Before The Courts – High Court

So yea the urgent High Court application made by EcoCash to reverse a directive given them by the Financial Intelligence Unit of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been thrown out. The first stumbling block EcoCash fell on is that according to the court they had no skin in the game. The issue One of […]

Breakdown Of 4 Charges Leveled Against EcoCash, Its CEO And The CEO Of Its Parent

The Financial Intelligence Unit has its daggers drawn against EcoCash. The unit’s Acting Director General wants his pound of flesh and he’s not taking any prisoners. Background Zimbabwe’s currency is tanking on the only market that matters in this country: the parallel market. This is not coming as a surprise to anyone except maybe the […]

EcoCash CEO & Cassava CEO Charged Under Anti Money Laundering Law

Here is a long letter charging EcoCash, its CEO- Natalie Jabangwe and Director (CEO of its holding company, Cassava Smartech) of crimes under Zimbabwe’s anti money laundering laws: OVERVIEW We write to advise you of the Financial Intelligence Unit (HU)’s intention to penalize: (a) Ecocash (Private) Limited (Ecocash); (b)Natalie Jahangwe, Ecocash Chief Executive Officer; and […]

EcoCash Announces Promotion For Tobacco Farmers Receiving Payment On Their Platform

Following the opening of the tobacco auction floors earlier this month, EcoCash has announced a promotion for tobacco farmers accepting their mobile money service as form of payment for their crop. Farmers getting paid more than ZW$30 000 stand a chance to win 1 of 30 tobacco seed for 1ha and 1 of 30 fertilisers […]

Both EcoCash And RBZ Are NOT Being 100% Sincere And Truthful

The fight between EcoCash and their regulator, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is revealing if nothing more. Of course the current episode started with a directive from RBZ instructing EcoCash to freeze agent accounts that transact above ZW$100,000. EcoCash went to court seeking an urgent reversal, the RBZ responded and now we are here. Reading […]

A Certain Person ‘Spins’ Money When EcoCash Payments Delay Says RBZ Governor Mangudya

So the story of the week has been the directive issued by the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to EcoCash instructing them to freeze the accounts of agents that transact above ZW$100,000 (USD2,000 or USD4,000) per month. Of course, EcoCash went to court to have the order urgently suspended. On Friday, […]