ZIMBABWE: EcoCash demonstrates resilience, maintains mobile money market leadership

ZIMBABWE’S largest mobile money platform, EcoCash, has demonstrated resilience by maintaining its market leadership position in the total volume and value of customer transactions, an industry report has shown.

EcoCash – owned and operated by Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe – emerged out of a difficult year, characterized the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the business challenges it brought amid prolonged national lockdowns, with its key performance ratios intact.

Sector performance figures released by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) this week show that EcoCash posted 97.98% of the total share of mobile money transaction volumes in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The report also revealed that at the end of last year, EcoCash facilitated 95.79% of all mobile money transaction values in the country, with the platform adding over 100,000 more customers in the same quarter, to exit the year on 5,553,981 active mobile money customers.

“The total number of active mobile money subscriptions as at 31 December 2020, was 6,495,682. This represents a 2.7% growth from 6,325,666 recorded as at 30 September 2020,” the sector performance report said.

In the period under review, OneMoney added 82,159 more customers, to exit the quarter on a total of 936,479 active customers, while Telecash lost 13,976 mobile money subscribers, to exit the quarter on 5,222 active customers.

Market watchers said EcoCash demonstrated a resilience that is rooted in its robust technical platform, which is reliable and scalable, and which gives EcoCash’s wide range of products a ubiquitous feel, as they can be accessed from anywhere and through multiple merchants.

EcoCash, which has more than 10 million mobile money accounts – including over 80% of the country’s adult population – ran a successful ‘My EcoCash Rewards’ promotion in the last quarter of 2020, to reward its loyal customers and encourage ‘stickiness’ to the brand.

The report noted that the combined value of mobile money transactions, involving airtime, bill and merchant payments, increased by 51.4% to ZW$19.4 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to ZW$12.8 billion recorded in the previous quarter.

At the same time, cross network mobile money transactions recorded the biggest growth of 92.1% to ZW$386 000, while the volume of total transactions declined by 10% to 295.2 million.

“Cross network mobile money transactions are expected to increase gradually as interoperability is fully implemented in line with Statutory Instrument 80 of 2020 on Banking Money Transmission, Mobile Banking and Mobile Money Interoperability Regulations,” Potraz added.