Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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MasterCard is dumping the magnetic strip

The magnetic strip of magstripe swipe card was invented by IBM engineer Forrest Parry with invaluable help from his wife back in 1969. It has been the basis of bank cards for decades and there is hardly a point of sale machine that doesn’t support them. They are cheap and simple to make but the […]

Zim becomes the first in Africa to roll out E-Livestock’s cattle logging system

Our teapot shaped country has become the first nation in Africa to roll out E-livestock‘s blockchain cattle tracing system. The solution which is powered by Mastercard’s Blockchain-based Provenance solution allows Zimbabwean farmers to log the records of cattle sold across the country. “Mastercard’s Provenance solution can safely and securely track the authenticity of the cattle’s […]

Mastercard to accept cryptocurrency payments this year

Mastercard has followed in Visa and PayPal’s footsteps with the announcement that it will be accepting cryptocurrency payments this year.

MasterCard & Network International launch platform to increase digital payment adoption in Africa

MasterCard and Network International have announced the launch of a digital platform that looks to accelerate digital payments adoption in Africa

Mastercard launches Fintech Express in the Middle East and Africa

Mastercard has launched Fintech Express in the Middle East and Africa. The program is designed for emerging and established businesses under the fintech umbrella looking to add payment solutions or innovate through partnerships. The program aims to expand Mastercard’s partnership with fintech companies and to create a seamless process of bringing fintech enterprises into the […]

Zimswitch announces partnership with Mastercard to “modernise national payments infrastructure”

Zimswitch today announced a partnership with Mastercard that they say will “enable the modernization of Zimbabwe’s payment infrastructure”. Whilst Zimswitch and Mastercard are yet to announce any joint products/services, there are hints as to what they will be working on. Zimswitch issued a press statement on the partnership and some of the things they highlighted […]

Vodafone Withdraws From FB’s Libra Association To Focus On M-Pesa

Following Facebook’s announcement of Libra, there was a brief honeymoon phase where crypto and tech enthusiasts celebrated the coming of this digital currency which would leverage Facebook’s digital footprint of 2.45+ billion users. Fast forward 7 months and that enthusiasm has died down. A number of Libra association members have stepped down with Vodafone being […]

[Interview] We Chat With Visa’s GM for Southern Africa: “We Need To Think Global & Act Local” When Deploying Payment Technologies

We sat down with VISA’s General Manager for Southern Africa Mr. Jabu Basopo. We had an interesting conversation that touched on a variety of issues including improving the security of payments, implementation of QR codes in African markets and the lessons that VISA is learning from African payments which one can argue are beginning to […]

VISA & Mastercard No Longer As Enthusiastic About Being Part Of Facebook’s Libra Crypto

It’s well documented that since the announcement of Libra a few months ago, very few political leaders have come out in support of the idea. If anything most political leaders are pretty apprehensive about leaving Facebook to go ahead with plans to form a global cryptocurrency unchecked. These political uneasiness has spread to partners of […]

Mastercard Executive Appointed To US President’s Advisory Council On Doing Business In Africa (PAC-DBIA)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 24th, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Raghu Malhotra, President of Mastercard Middle East and Africa, has been appointed to the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). The PAC-DBIA is an important forum for dialogue between the U.S. public and private sector, and advises the President on ways to […]

The Importance Of Interoperability In The Payments Ecosystem: The Evolution of Payments

This is the first of a three-part series on the importance of interoperability in the payments space. In this article, we look at the early history of electronic payments and how interoperability played a key role in the success of credit cards and ATMs. In the next article, we will take a closer look at […]

MasterCard Boss Is In Zim, They Are Planning To Open An Office Here Soon

This is a press release with a bit of our own commentary. Mastercard President and CEO, Ajay Banga, this week visited Zimbabwe to show Mastercard’s strong support for the country’s drive to create a new wave of digital payments and inclusive growth. He outlined how Mastercard will collaborate with local private and public sector partners […]

EcoCash Collaborates With Mastercard To Introduce The ‘Scan+Pay’ Service That Makes It Way Faster To Make Payments

Today EcoCash has collaborated with Mastercard to introduce a new payment service that enables EcoCash customers to make QR payments to merchants and billers through the EcoCash app. The payment service called Scan+Pay will allow EcoCash customers to scan a barcode image (QR code)  through the Ecocash app (in their phone) so that they can […]

Steward Bank Introduces A New Platform For The Diaspora To Access More Financial Services

Steward Bank (Steward) has just launched Square World, both a payment service and a platform which enables the Zimbabwean diaspora to access various financial services provided by Steward. Essentially, cuts out middlemen who have been facilitating the payment of services and accessing of financial services for the Diaspora. Square World provides the diaspora access to (almost all) banking services […]

Mastercard Might Have A Solution To Make Blockchain-Based Transactions Faster

One thing cryptocurrency enthusiasts usually forget to mention is the fact that blockchain-based currencies such as Bitcoin are disadvantaged when it comes to payment processing times. This is the real reason why even though Bitcoin (and other cryptos) made in-roads into the payments services they are still miles from being the go-to payment methods for […]

NMB Customers Can Now Start To Make International Payments As It Partners A German Bank

On the back of failing to process international transactions, NMBZ Holdings has announced that it has entered into a partnership with a German bank, ODDO BHF to allow its customers to make international payments and receive money from outside Zimbabwe. ODDO BHF is an independent Franco-German financial services group, with branches worldwide and a history stretching back […]

Online Payment For Travel Visas To Zimbabwe Now Possible

Visitors can now pay online for travel visas to Zimbabwe after the Department of Immigration introduced an E-Visa payment system. The online payment can be done using Mastercard and Visa payment models only. Previously, the online visa application platform only facilitated the application of Visas but visitors were not able to pay for them on […]

Which Bank Cards Are Working To Make Online Payments In Zimbabwe?

This post has been coming for the past year, as the goal posts have been continually changing. One minute your card can make online payments for $5,500, the next it’s reduced to $1,100 and before you can say “bond notes” it’s reduced further to $500. While it will go on to change a bit eventually being […]

BREAKING: Steward Bank Now Only Takes USD to fund MasterCard

In what is becoming a barrage of bad news Steward Bank has the latest blow. The Bank announced back in August that they were implementing international limit restrictions on Steward Bank MasterCard Debit cards.  Back then the bank announced that customers will only be able to access value on the debit card against pre-funding in foreign currency […]

Video: No more international payments via EcoCash… unless you have USD

  As Zimbabwe’s cash crisis worsens, the country’s top mobile money service, EcoCash, has announced that EcoCash that it will no longer be processing international payments unless subscribers pre-fund their wallets with physical United States Dollars: Read more here. Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge Number to recharge: Airtime amount ($): EcoCash or OneMoney […]

No USD, no service: Steward Bank restricts MasterCard Debit card limits

We seem to be getting more and more alteration notifications from our banks or mobile money platforms; most, if not all bearing bad news. Just this morning we got a blow from EcoCash, informing us that they have suspended their MasterCard online payments service. Now, here is another ‘MasterCard blow’ from Steward bank…   MasterCard […]

Barclays Bank reduces Visa limits; $150 per day for standard cards

Barclays Bank has revised its Visa debit card daily limits downwards. The bank’s standard cards have been reduced to a daily limit of $100 on Point of Sale (PoS) and $50 on ATM while the prestige segment of cards have been reduced to $150 on PoS and also $50 on ATM. The new limits kick in […]

EcoCash Mastercard VCN service down… customers fail to make online payments

The EcoCash Mastercard VCN service is down. The service, which EcoCash subscribers use to generate Virtual Card Numbers (hence VCN), is one of the few ways Zimbabweans have to make payment to merchants outside the country. Users of the service have been complaining on social media and other platforms that attempts to issues themselves VCNs using the services, have […]

RBZ States That Standard Chartered Bank Cancelling Use Of Visa Is Not Directive From Them

Today a notice appeared in the Herald that stated that Standard Chartered had cancelled, with immediate effect, the use of their Visa cards outside Zimbabwe, with clients needing to seek prior approval 72 hrs before departure. This has proved not yet to extend to online payments, though the fear and concern has been that this was […]

Standard Chartered Cancels The Use Of Visa Cards Outside Of Zimbabwe…

Techzim today came upon a notification published in The Herald by one of Zimbabwe’s internationally owned banks, Standard Chartered, stating that the bank has cancelled the use of its Visa cards outside Zimbabwe with immediate effect. The action has been taken to “ensure best use of the increasingly scarce foreign currency resources” due to the […]

Can’t use EcoCash/Telecash for your DStv payments? – here are 3 other options (update)

EcoCash will no longer be supporting payments for pay TV service DStv starting from the 1st of January 2017. Considering how widespread EcoCash is (it’s the most widespread e-payment channel in Zimbabwe) this is going clearly to affect a lot of subscribers. It doesn’t mean you have to go to the bank straight away, though. […]

Zimbabwean banks begin restricting Telegraphic Transfers (Updates)

Banks in Zimbabwe have began restricting Telegraphic Transfers (TTs). TTS are money transfers from a Zimbabwean bank account to bank account outside the country. The development has come swiftly after the announcement of the introduction of new Bond Notes local currency by the government this month. Customers of banks have complained on social media and other platforms that their banks […]

EcoCash officially launches NFC enabled debit card

Econet officially unveiled its NFC-enabled EcoCash Express Debit Card at its Econet beyond the Phone Expo. The card comes with no charges and is a MasterCard, which means it can also be used for Tap and Pay transactions outside the country.

As Ecobank taps into Zimbabwean e-banking it’s leaving out 2 major blocks

Is the latest drive for e-banking from Ecobank adequate for a 2015 Zimbabwe which is a proudly informal economy? It would seem that the glaring omission from Ecobank’s strategy is an aggressive adoption of indigenous retail banking alternatives.

From an offline to an online experience: the shift in Zimbabwean e-commerce

In recent months, we have been seeing the shift in companies from cash sales to the trendy electronic and online platforms. Some of the most unlikely “traditional” corporate are showing an interest in these “new age systems”. Are we finally seeing the start of a huge shift into online payments and mobile payments in Zimbabwe? In this interview, we discuss this dynamic with Vusi Ndebele from local payments aggregator, Paynow.