In the bid to drive and promote Zimbabwe’s multi currency regime , Zimbabwe’s most subscribed mobile money platform Ecocash has unleashed its latest innovative product called Ecocash Rand Wallet which enables customers transact on the platform using the South African Rand.
This product was formed on the growing pleas by members of the public who wanted the country to adopt the South African Rand to avert the current cash crisis bedeviling the country.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Speaking to journalists after the launch, Ecocash General Manager Natalie Jabangwe-Morris said that this product was formed on the back of a realization of the usage of the South African Rand in trade.
“Already 60 to 70 percent of Zimbabwean imports and exports combined happen in the South African Rand. You will note that South Africa is a corridor for international remittances with over 2 million Zimbabweans which is an avenue through which the South African Rand is funded into this country.
“Whether the USD has been dominant what is actually dominant in terms of trading in the market place its the rand itself. The central bank said the multi currency system has already been put in place.,” she said.
“Very very importantly for our 6 million customers is to create the flexibility of customer choice in a multi currency environment to allow our subscribers to maximize the benefits of dual currencies within the applications that we have and this is why this morning and today as Ecocash we are introducing the Ecocash rand wallet.
Jabangwe-Morris said that this product is aimed at fulfilling the drive by the central bank of Zimbabwe, the Reserve Bank of a multi currency economy as well as to increase liquidity and stimulate the agent and merchant business ecosystem of 26 000 agents and over 20 000 merchants.
“The Ecocash Rand Wallet allows customers to cash out, send money to access payrollservices, merchant services and bill payment services using South African Rands. The Rand Wallet operates as a separate wallet. “When you perform‘cash in’ in Rands you cannot ‘cash out’ in United States Dollars. The USD wallet is a separate port; the Rand is a separate port. Money cannot be transferred from one wallet to another.
Ecocash Rand Wallet comes in two phases, Cash in and cash out Serves available at all of our agents to receive and send South African Rands.
She also said in the next two days Rand to Rand remittances will start. She said all the payment services After logging into the Ecocash platform as a customer, one has to get to the wallet services and go to Multi Currency where they can switch to the South African Rand option and save then confirm.
For Ecocash merchants to accept Rand payments, they go to Banking Services option, change the currency and and go to the ‘Rand Wallet’ and confirm. Ecocash agents can go to ‘Wallet services’ and select the ‘Rand wallet’ to facilitate the Cash In and cash Out services in the South African currency.
Jabangwe Morris encouraged Ecocash merchants and agents to accept the Rand currency. She assured Ecocash subscribers that they will be monitoring to ensure there will be no arbitrage opportunities by its agents to ensuire that customers are not treated in an unscrupulous manner.
RBZ Deputy Director Financial markets and National Payment Systems Josephat Mutepfa said the launch of the Ecocash Rand Wallet helps Zimbabwe attain its financial inclusion target by 2020 of 90 percent.
“The launch of Ecocash Rand Wallet will therefore go a long way in our efforts to achieve the overarching financial inclusion goal in the country where by 2020 we should reach 90percent financial inclusion rate,” he said.