BY SEAN MAQHAWE MOYO
Ecocash, an Econet based money transfer system today at the Holiday inn unveiled another Value Added Service to their EcocashSave account holders by extending a seemingly unbelievable credit facility,coined EcocashLoan.
Speaking to TechnoMag during the official unveiling of the product, the Steward bank Chief Executive Officer Mr Kwanele Ngwenya announced that EcocashSave Account holders will given instant credit from $5 to $500 at no collateral security at all.
A 5% handling fee shall be effected to any amount borrowed and this can be achieved instantly without any need to visit any bank branch or fill up papers.Supporting his move, Mr Ngwenya said as a financial service provider they are obliged to offer credit facility and have taken it upon themselves to deliver a value added service to the community and hopefully encourage a saving culture.
Mr Kwanele Ngwenya, the Steward Bank C.E.O said, ”Its not hard to do the right thing, but it is hard to know what the right thing is, but once you know what is right its hard not to do it, as Steward Bank and as part of the Econet family we are delighted to launch this product.”
“People can now bank from the comfort of their homes. In over 100 years of banking and 16 commercial banks in Zimbabwe, no bank has achieved what we have moreso considering the time frame of our Ecocash launch. We have over 1million account holders in just three months. People can now access 24hr banking services even from the comfort of their bedrooms in rural areas” continued Mr Ngwenya.
He concluded by saying that the best way to deal with the liquidity crunch in the economy is to build the economy from the bottom of the pyramid, by empowering the community to be self-sustaining e.g when a villager can access money to buy seed or fertilizer then you know you have made a difference in society.
Mr Isaiah Nyangani, the Econet Chief Marketing Officer asked, “ what do you do when you need money urgently; when your mother needs it; when your wife needs a new Rihanna hairstyle that she has just seen but you have no money at hand?” His rhetorical question was then aptly answered by Mr Cuthbert Tembedza, the CEO at Econet Services Who then introduced the new product in his presentation, in which he emphasised the need for financial inclusion.
He said, “we talked about Ecocash, Ecocash payroll, Ecocash save, and now are happy to introduce Ecocash Loans, which is a great innovation that will help our clients access emergency loans without the need to go through the traditional loan application process that amongst others requires collateral, too long and access time is limited to working hours only. From your phone you can now access loans, without the need for paperwork. A product that we are launching in conjunction Steward bank who are our Ecocash save licence holder”.
To qualify for the service, one has to have a healthy traceable history of transactions, although not clearly stated, this would certainly affect and limit the actual ranges which one can access. He said “the Ecocash loans proposition offered emergency loans accessed via the phone, available to all Ecocash save customers who saved $5+ you just have to save $5 for three months, and have at least $5 balance on the Ecocash save account. This service is exclusively available to those who use Ecocash on a monthly basis, spend on the EWZ Sim card and must be at least 18 years old or older, an applicant receives an SMS to confirm whether their application has been approved”.
EcocashLoans added support to their service with support centre details which includes a dedicated call centre (number 114), backed by Steward bank toll free number 08 088 888, plus an agent network total of over 11 000 agents as well as Ecocash shops and 21 Steward Bank branches nationwide.
Mr Tembedza added, “you can now easily access that urgent $10 loan from the Ecocash loan facility. There are times when $10 means everything. It may be nothing to someone but to you it may be the difference between life and death. Ecocash loan has provided the solution to that”
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