EcoCash scraps transfer fees for Covid-19

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ZIMBABWE and the rest of the world are currently battling the coronavirus pandemic and EcoCash has moved to remove all processing fees for cash transfers designated as Covid-19 relief, to enable the government, non-governmental organisations (NGO)s and any other relief organisations to freely give support to vulnerable groups and communities at no extra cost for the transfers.

The chief executive of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, the holding company of EcoCash, Eddie Chibi, mentioned that the goal of the company was to use their digital solutions to address the current epidemic.

“We are a digital capability company and our goal is to create as many digital solutions as possible to address the current Covid-19 crisis so that lives are saved, first and foremost,” said Chibi in a statement.

Chibi also added that the wide distribution of some of their products and services means that their platform and smart data network can be used to reach even the most vulnerable in the country whilst creating services that bring convenience to millions of citizens.

The EcoCash platform has over 11 million customers registered in Zimbabwe and accounts for the bulk of transaction volumes processed in Zimbabwe.

With over 200 000 outlets, EcoCash accounts for the country’s largest distribution network of agents, merchants and partners for the payments of good and services.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, the ability for people to send money and pay merchants (shops, pharmacies, hospitals, and many others) through their mobile phones minimizes the need for physical contact, and therefore lowers the risk for potential transmission of the virus between individuals.

Zimbabwe is among the countries with the highest level of digital financial inclusion in Africa.

EcoCash launched proximity payments two years ago, a proposition that allows shop till operators to enter a customer’s number on a point of sale (POS) machine and the customer receives a push message at ‘far proximity’ confirming the payment on their mobile phone.

EcoCash is currently working with supermarkets to increase the adoption of proximity payments, according to its chief executive Natalie Jabangwe.

Jabangwe noted that customers should be able to order over the phone or online and make a proximity payment from the comfort of their home without the need to travel to the shop.

“Our partnership with Vaya makes goods delivery safe and convenient.

“Digital has changed everything in this global crisis. Work and communication has moved to the digital sphere in an unprecedented fashion,” Jabangwe said in a statement.

Jabangwe moreover added that Food World and Spar shops were now piloting the proximity payments at scale, before a full telesales and proximity scale-up operation is launched across the country with other retailers.

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