EcoCash embraces South Africa Rand

HARARE - Econet Wireless has for the first time in Zimbabwe introduced the South African Rand (ZAR) as a currency of transaction via EcoCash.

The listed mobile firm’s chief executive, Douglas Mboweni, yesterday said the introduction of a multi-currency wallet was another step towards meeting the country’s vision of becoming a cashless society and of easing liquidity in a multi-currency regime.

“Today, we witness another chapter of innovation as we continuously explore new ways to make a positive and meaningful impact to our customers’ lives,” he said.

The Econet boss noted that his company was also striving to offer customers a robust service which combines ease of use, high-levels of security, accessibility and choice.

The multi-currency wallet is a separate product, allowing the customer to transact in both United States dollars and the rand from the EcoCash wallet. The service is available to all registered EcoCash  customers without the need to re-register.

Economic experts said the multi-currency positioning was timely in the Zimbabwean market where over 60 percent of Zimbabwe’s imports and exports combined are in rand currency.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said the launch of the new product was a welcome development to further enhance the use and efficiency of the multi-currency system.

“The launch of EcoCash Rand Wallet will therefore go a long way in our efforts to achieve the over-arching financial inclusion goal in the country where by 2020 we should reach 90 percent financial inclusion rate.

“Across the globe, the financial sector is experiencing innovation led transformation, bringing about positive development of financial services,” he said.

Introducing the rand will reduce pressure on the United States dollar, which has become the predominant currency over the years but the utilisation levels are unsustainable.

Strategically, Zimbabwe already supports a multi-currency monetary policy.This move will enable the economy to become more liquid, help stimulate the economy and allow subscribers to maximize the benefits of the dual currency applications.

“The EcoCash multi-currency wallet provides the same secure, state-of-the-art technology which enables our customers and partners to perform transactions in United States dollars and the rand instantly and automatically,” EcoCash general manager Natalie Jabangwe said.

She added that the first phase of the rand wallet roll-out will allow customers to Cash-in and cash out the rand at any EcoCash agent.

“Additional services such as banking services and card transactions will be gradually added on to the rand wallet system,” she said.

Internationally, EcoCash is becoming a global wallet.There are now limitless and exciting opportunities that innovation brings to the Fintech space, an area which Econet is looking at closely, through its international subsidiary, Cassava International.

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