New Zimbabwe (London)

23 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Sixty Percent of Remittances Now Through Ecocash

MORE than 60 percent of all money transfers sent to Zimbabwe through WorldRemit are now received on EcoCash, it has emerged.

The development comes just three months after WorldRemit and Econet Wireless announced a partnership to promote EcoCash as an option for money transfer recipients in Zimbabwe.

EcoCash Diaspora uses WorldRemit's service to enable instant money transfers to Zimbabwe from around the world.

WorldRemit's founder and CEO, Ismail Ahmed said: "The popularity of EcoCash as a way of receiving money transfers in Zimbabwe is striking. Clearly this was a service that people in Zimbabwe, and their friends and family overseas really wanted.

"Zimbabwe is one of 9 countries in the world where more people use mobile money than have bank accounts. The partnership between WorldRemit and EcoCash is all the more important as it enables many unbanked people to have access to vital financial services."

EcoCash, Zimbabwe's leading mobile money transfer service, launched in 2011 and currently has in excess of 4 million subscribers. 43 percent of the country's annual GDP now moves through the service.

EcoCash is ranked as one of the eight fastest growing mobile money systems in Africa. Its rapid growth ensures that almost anyone in the diaspora can send a remittance to someone in Zimbabwe via EcoCash.

Darlington Mandivenga, Econet Services International Chief Executive Officer, encouraged Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to fully utilise the WorldRemit-EcoCash remittance service for its increased convenience, flexibility, speed and security.

"We are happy with the performance of the WorldRemit channel for EcoCash International remittances and we are seeing increased volumes and values of transactions on a daily basis," he said.

"Clearly, we offer an unparalleled last mile solution directly into the recipients' EcoCash wallets in Zimbabwe. We appreciate that Zimbabweans in the diaspora have family and friends they support financially and regularly back home.

"This money is required for basic human needs such as food, health, education and accommodation. As such, we have made it our objective to ensure that we offer the most convenient, secure, fast, reliable and affordable service such as EcoCash Remittances in partnership with WorldRemit.

"This partnership could not have come at a better time, when the government of Zimbabwe has been actively raising awareness of the importance of the Zimbabwean diaspora in furthering the economic development and stability of the nation".

Econet Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Mboweni added: "This is a milestone for Econet as we lead the way in receiving remittances, just as we have lead the way in mobile money in Africa.

"We will continue to expand our range of services for the convenience of our customers, and to contribute to the development of Zimbabwe's economy."

The update on EcoCash transfers through WorldRemit was revealed by executives from both companies at a joint media event in London last Friday, ahead of the Annual Zimbabwe Diaspora Festival - part of a weekend-long programme of events for the UK's Zimbabwean community.

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