EcoCash, Cassava Smartech's fintech business, has launched a real-time rewards programme on a digital wallet that will earn customers up to 15% of transacted value.
A first on a mobile money service, the EcoCash Rewards programme - powered by CashbackAPP Africa - was unveiled at a media event in Harare on Wednesday, where company executives said the programme will reward EcoCash users and offer the capability to tie in merchants to their consumers' buying patterns.
Commenting on the reward programme, Cassava Smartech CEO Eddie Chibi said customers will be able to enjoy EcoCash Rewards by simply transacting at any participating merchants.
"Once a payment transaction is complete, an EcoCash customer automatically accumulates points which they can redeem for value into their EcoCash wallet by going to the EcoCash menu on their phone and selecting 'make payment', followed by 'EcoCash Rewards'," Chibi said.
"A customer can earn up to 15% in EcoCash Reward points of value transacted, depending on their selected merchant," he said.
Chibi added that merchants would cut across all sectors of the economy - and would include retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and tourism and hospitality players, among many others.
EcoCash CEO Natalie Jabangwe, speaking at the launch event, said the EcoCash Rewards programme will be a permanent feature on the EcoCash wallet, and was set to offer customers lifetime value.
"We are excited to introduce EcoCash Rewards as a permanent feature to our valued and loyal customers," said.
'The depth of customer entrenchment to our EcoCash platform requires us to offer a level of customer lifetime value.
"Through data intelligence, we can understand our customers' buying patterns overtime, track their loyalty to our platform and connect this with the linkages to our merchant network, by mapping those value points within the EcoCash ecosystem," added Jabangwe, whose award-winning EcoCash service boasts of over nine million customers in Zimbabwe.
She said the new offering would offer customers some relief, coming at a time in Zimbabwe's economy where austerity measures have resulted in a general scaling back of consumer spending.
Jabangwe said she believes providing a win-win model that links the consistent value between consumers and retailers would unlock unprecedented value between consumers and merchants through incentivisation for repeated purchases, thus creating ecosystem-wide benefits.
The EcoCash Reward programme is powered by Cashback APP Africa, the international loyalty business.
CashbackAPP Africa CEO r Kim Hodgson said they had chosen EcoCash as a strategic partner.
"When we decided to enter into the African market, and subsequently Zimbabwe, we immediately identified Ecocash as our ideal strategic partner," he said.
"We are elated that we have now cemented this partnership and produced a world-first product which brings the power of both innovators behind a unique digital rewards offering."
Chibi said the idea was to leverage big data analytics and unique usage behaviour to reward both customers and merchants using best-in-class capabilities from our rewards partner.
"Our aim is to use smart data intelligence to give value to both our customers and value-chain partners," he said.
"It's about employing value-adding technological capabilities to offer more to our customers and our over 60 000 channel partners."
The new rewards programme will likely offer EcoCash - which already controls over 95% of the mobile money market share in Zimbabwe - long term customer loyalty and give an uplift to its parent company, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe.