25 April 2014

Zimbabwe: Econet, Western Union to Integrate Systems

Bulawayo — ECONET Wireless has entered into a commercial arrangement with global money transfer agency Western Union that will enable people to send money from abroad to account holders of its mobile money transfer platform EcoCash. This means EcoCash account holders will not need to physically visit Western Union branches to receive money sent through the money transfer agency.

Econet and Western Union are now working on integrating their systems, Mr Eddie Chibi, chief sales officer of Econet Services said on the sideline of SME's conference in Bulawayo yesterday.

The workshop, jointly organized by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and SME Ministry was held concurrently with the ongoing Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

"We have signed a commercial agreement with Western Union and are now working on system integration," said Mr Chibi.

"When (people living abroad) send money, they actually specify the (mobile) number and the money will come straight into your (EcoCash) wallet."

It is estimated that more than three million people living are living outside the country, with the majority living in neighbouring South Africa.

Addressing the same conference earlier, Mr Chibi said Econet was awaiting regulatory approvals from South African authorities to introduce EcoCash service to Econet subscribers of roaming.

He said the new service was likely to see remittances from South Africa growing as well as improving accountability. Since its inception in 2011, EcoCash now has 4,2 million account holders.

The service has also helped to mobilise funds outside the banking system (financial inclusion).

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