Econet Zimbabwe says its financial services platform, EcoCash has cumulatively transacted over $11 billion in the last three and half years. Econet Head Business and Marketing Development Mrs Natalie Jabangwe-Morris told an Institute of Charted Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) seminar for accounting students in the resort town of Kariba last week, that the group has propped up financial inclusion in the economy, incorporating the previously unbanked population.
EcoCash was launched on September 29, 2011.
“In more than three and half years, we have cumulatively moved $11 billion in this economy,” she said adding that at least 450 million transactions were conducted on the platform with agencies now in excess of 20 000 countrywide.
Mrs Jabangwe-Morris said before EcoCash, the majority of Zimbabweans were not banked and were excluded from the financial services sector of the economy.
“EcoCash, since its inception, has helped to improve financial inclusion as over 60 percent of Zimbabwe’s adult population, which previously had no access to banking services, had access to the mobile money platform,” she said.
Mrs Jabangwe-Morris said at present the banking sector has in excess of 1,3 million accounts while EcoCash wallets are now at 4,5 million. She added that in a bid to influence the saving culture in the economy, EcoCash Save platform currently has 1,5 million accounts.
The EcoCash platform has been designed to now offer the debit card, payroll, bill payment services, EcoCash online and an airtime facility. Although the coming in of EcoCash has tremendously revolutionised banking and money transfer, it has often been suggested that the platform tends to lock their customers down by restricting transactions carried out on the platform to Econet subscribers only.
Econet has over the years introduced new innovations aimed at diversifying revenue streams which include the EcoShopper, EcoFarmer, Eco-Sure among many others.
According to a latest Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) total value of mobile and internet-based transactions registered a 5 percent decline in April to $453,61 million from $476,38 million mainly affected by the holidays in the month. However, the trend is expected to turn positive going forward.
In her address to the CA students, Mrs Jabangwe-Morris said accounting people are critical in decisions involving capital investments.
“People in accounting firms are key to capital investments, business advising and making decisions, thus you need to embrace technology and innovation to drive organisational behaviours,” she said.
She said financial innovation is key to improving organisational behaviour which will bring new revenues for sustained growth. — Wires.