Econet's mobile money service Ecocash, has unveiled the Ecocash Business Wallet to cater for both formal and informal businesses, becoming the first in Africa to have an enterprise transaction service that is integrated into a mobile money platform.
Ecocash chief executive officer Natalie Jabangwe, said at the launch yesterday that while the country was running with the theme "Zimbabwe is Open for Business," there was also a need to create tools that enabled smooth flow of that business.
The new service will offer Ecocash merchants, agents, payroll wallet holders and billers full control of their funds by affording them the ability to make and receive payments directly on their business wallet.
The business wallet has increased limits as compared to the ordinary Ecocash wallet.
"This is a dedicated wallet for business transactions, both the formal and informal, offering you safe and secure services. This also has increased limits of up to $500 000 a month depending on the size of the business," she said.
She added the business wallet would be a dedicated wallet for all business type transactions, accessible on the separate short code *152# in Zimbabwe, and would be covered by insurance to manage business risk.
The new Ecocash product comes at a time the country is experiencing cash shortages and Government pushing for plastic money as Zimbabwe moves towards a cashless economy.
Econet group chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni, said the launch of business wallet helped Ecocash consolidate its position as the market leader in mobile money, ahead of services provided by peers NetOne and Telecel.
According to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) 2017 sector performance report, Ecocash maintained market dominance accounting for 97,2 percent market share.
"Ecocash is effectively offering a solution for businesses that currently handle high-value transactions but have a real need for convenience in their transacting experience" he said, adding that the product offered dual-security and the ability for a second approver to validate higher limit transactions.
"In addition, it offers businesses a one-stop portal which creates convenience and makes accounting much simpler," he said.
Figures from Econet's financial year 2018 results show significant jump in earnings that exceeded projections through fostering the adoption of plastic money and transforming Zimbabwe into a cash-less society in the advent of acute currency shortages.
Analysts project the relentless liquidity challenges and the mantra for financial inclusion will further facilitate a strong performance for Econet's financial services unit, spurred by Steward Bank and Ecocash.