ECONET Wireless says that more than $200 million is now being transacted per
month through its mobile money platform, EcoCash, helping ease the countrys cash constraints and aiding growth of the carrier.
There’s no question that EcoCash is filling a basic consumer need in one of Africa’s countries, where a great deal of the population has been excluded from the formal banking system, Econet said in a statement.
In a little over two years, the service has registered 31% of Zimbabwe’s adult population, a group responsible for more than $200 million in transactions per month, that’s about 22% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – using their mobile phones.
Among other services, EcoCash now enables companies to fund payrolls giving small businesses and large companies a secure platform to distribute salaries and wages to employees.
Econet said the mobile money transfer platform, which now has about 3 million subscribers, was a way to diversify its portfolio from core voice and data business, where revenue growth has been weak.
Chief executive officer for Econet Services, Darlington Mandivenga, said their mobile money transfer platform was a strategic response to a strategic challenge.
“What is happening in the telecoms industry is that revenues are stagnant, if not on the decline, with average revenue per user under pressure for various reasons such as competition and market saturation, he was quoted as saying in the statement.
To help EcoCash become Zimbabwe’s dominant payment system for retail transactions, the mobile operator has embarked on an aggressive merchant acquisition campaign.
The company was sacrificing short-term profitability by paying out 80% of revenue in agent commissions to build a strong and dedicated network.