Story by Marvelous Chibagidi
With the boom of technology, there has been a shift in many sectors of the economy and the mobile phone has changed the financial technology arena.
With a large part of Zimbabweans owning a mobile phone, it is not surprising that many have turned or adopted mobile money platforms.
According to the Abridged sector performance report released by POTRAZ, there was significant growth in the volume and value of mobile money transactions in the second quarter of the year.
This was evidenced by a 108,1% variance between the first and second quarter total cash in transactions and a 63 % variance for the total cash-out transactions.
It is worth noting that of the total mobile money transactions recorded i.e. cash-in, cash-out and airtime, bill or merchant payments Ecocash processed 99,6% of the transactions.
This left OneMoney processing 0,3% and Telecash 0,1% of the total mobile money transactions.
For a company which had its first phone call in 1998 and later introduced the mobile money solution, it’s clear they are doing something right.
Ecocash was introduced in 2011 and continues to grow. In a country with a population of over 14 million Econet is the largest mobile network service provider according to the subscriber base.
Question is how did a company which came two years after NetOne and Telecel opened their doors in 1996 manage to lead and stay on top even two decades later.
Any Econet subscriber can testify that when Econet introduces a new service they make sure that you get to know about it. To reach an even wider audience and not just the tech-savvy and those on social media they will spam you with SMSES till you even know the time the SMS will be sent.
The mobile network provider managed to do that even with ensuring that people in the outskirts are connected. This then helped grow their Ecocash subscriptions as in a way it bridged the gap between loved ones as they could send money from anywhere.
Despite Econet only coming into the playfield in 1998 it has been disruptive as they always find a problem and offer the solution. Ecocash saw the need for going paperless and its benefits in 2011 and so did Netone which launched One wallet the same year.
The difference in subscribers and market value between the two is a cause for concern. One