After much talk of the virtual debit card system by our local Mobile Network Operators and the respective launches thereof, the mobile wallet game long seemed to be a dying one as options for development and upgrades have fast run out, or so we thought..
At an official opening ceremony graced by the Guest of Honour, Deputy Governor Charity Dhliwayo, we got to understand more about the specifications and benefits of the new Ecocash Mastercard- Debit Card features..
By Phinias Shonayi
Some facts Econet CEO, Douglas Mboweni said about the card:
This Ecocash card is welcome at 10,000 ATMs and Point of Sales (POS) in Zimbabwe, and over 40million in the world, which utterly spoils the customer of choice considering the expanse of acceptance and benefits it brings.
The card brings various benefits, and among them;
• Money is instantly debited into the card the exact moment a transaction is activated through the Ecocash mobile wallet.
• The card is synchronized to the mobile wallet and therefore can function outside the operation of the phone-based platform.
• This is the most secure form of debit card as the security chip denotes that the card cannot be cloned. Access requires entry of the customer’s four-character pin code.
• The card owner can suspend its operation in the case of misplacement and choose to re-activate later or never at all.
• Online shopping on platforms such as Amazon, Google Playstore, etc can now be accessed by the simplest subscriber only at a click literally.
• When travelling internationally there is no need to carry cash anymore, the card is your wallet without the wallet!
The card can be collected at selected outlets including Steward Banks, all Econet shops and some 500 other agents nationwide.
Here go the requirements for reception and registration of the card:
• The applicant’s wallet must have transacted at least $5,00 within the month of application.
• A fee of $2,00 must be paid in order to receive the card.
• An ID must be availed to confirm user identity.
To register, one follows a simple universal process through their Ecocash menu accessed by simply dialing *151# and confirming the wallet services instruction prompts to follow.
Two bucks is the lowest charge any financial institute in Zimbabwe has ever demanded of its clients for a card issue. So the Zimbabwean gospel is that now anyone can access this platform at the least expense and hassle-free for use at the most coverage ever availed by any mobile wallet service provider locally.
Mastercard Worldwide Vice-President and Area Business Head (Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands), Charlton Goredema said electronification of commerce in Africa is taking a firm stand; with Nigeria presently launching the EMB chip.
84% of all of the nation’s payments are wallet-based, increasing safety of the cashless society and decreasing corruption.
“Cash is dirty and expensive to make. It can cost up to 1% of a country’s GDP,” Mr. Goredema said as he revealed that Mastercard believes in a wholly cashless society.
Many Zimbabweans, since the leakage of the Ecocash Debit Card launch news, have expressed their excitement at this new product, and are really anticipating some of their first-ever use of the online purchase service internationally.
The ease of manipulation and totality of control over the card and wallet simultaneously sure promise to attract many customers to this debit card wagon in the face of the stiff race our MNOs are in to “steal” more client base from one another.
Let’s wait and see the blows they are preparing for the next wallet-based bout.. as for me and my house, we shall sit back and wait to pick the best of the trio!