We never denied banks access: Econet

HARARE - Econet Wireless (Econet) executive Darlington Mandivenga says remarks made by immediate past Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) president John Mushayavanhu that the mobile giant has “denied banks access” to its platform for integration are misplaced.

The long-serving executive, who is responsible for EcoCash’s rollout, said the company expected to sign up most banks by end of March.

“We have agreements with most of the banks, and we are currently carrying out physical connections with most of them.

“We as Econet initiated the process and are very keen to get it completed, but it cannot be rushed because it involves accessing bank accounts,” Mandivenga said, adding they were “expecting three major banks to go live within 10 days”.

The Econet Wireless Services executive also suggested CABS was the “only institution… trying to fight the EcoCash service”.

“As you know, CABS have been working with ZIMSWITCH to launch a service called Textacash.
 
“Since their own customer base is very small compared to the Econet subscriber base of eight million, they want us to open up our system, so that they can simply spam any of our customers with text messages.
 
“We will never allow that because it would not only violate our licence, it would be total abuse of customers’ privacy,” Mandivenga said.

A former executive of the established building society was named as the main instigator of the problem or issue.

“If CABS and Zimswitch want to compete with us, they are free to do so, but they must build a proper system that reaches the rural people in Zimbabwe,” the top marketer said.

“They have been there for decades, and never did anything to benefit the masses. This is not about the interests of banks or cellphone companies, it is about providing services to ordinary Zimbabweans,” Mandivenga said.

“Our friends in the banking system have told us about his (ex-CABS executive) campaigns to try and preserve the status quo in which less than three percent of our people had access to the formal financial system, and where thousands… had to line up every month… just to access their own money.

“This is not the future.” - Staff Writer

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