As the prevailing cash crisis worsens by the day, local businesses in particular retail outlets and some banks are now rejecting Ecocash transactions citing a myriad of reasons.
A snap survey done by TechnoMag yesterday revealed that Choppies, PicknPay among a host of other outlets have ceased accepting Ecocash transactions. CBZ on the other hand now rejects payment of tuition fees to Universities like the University of Zimbabwe through Ecocash as was the norm in the previous years.
I am sorry, we no longer accept Ecocash here, said one Till Operator at Choppies Nelson Mandela. While a number of tills in PicknPay have the sign written, “We do not Accept Ecocash.”
Most parents and university students had torrid time trying to register for their studies with UZ, after they discovered CBZ was only allowing a cash out transaction of $20 dollars.
It was however not clear why the mobile money service was now being under prioritized, as it was also another form of virtual money in circulation, which could be easily settled by the local RTGS as the country continues to fail to account for the real nostro value bank balance.
Mobile money has been reeling under massive liquidity problems since mid 2016 following government’s pronouncement to introduce Bond Notes.
Economists who spoke to TechnoMag hinted that the mobile money was under intensive care and the only noble route to take was the plastic money way considering cash woes are not showing any signs of leaving the picture.
Despite Ecocash having the widest mobile money network coverage, most agents are battling to earn a living with their ventures owing to the tight cash crisis which has brought most businesses to a halt.
Ecocash’s woes began when support banks like Steward Bank stopped giving agents money following reports of usurious deals by agents.
According to the 2017 Monetary Policy, in 2016 mobile money payments in Zimbabwe accounted for 81.2% of all electronic payment transactions maintaining the dominance mobile money services have had in transaction volumes. During the year 298.59 million mobile mon