Econet Wireless' mobile financial technology division EcoCash has partnered Mastercard to introduce EcoCash Scan & Pay payments solution designed to serve the high volume traffic of mobile transactions across the country.
Scan & Pay is a simple, secure and instant mobile payments solution for consumers and merchants being introduced to reduce cash usage and increase digital financial inclusion in Zimbabwe.
The Scan & Pay payments functionality is available to EcoCash's five million active subscribers, and is already accepted at 3 800 retail locations and businesses in Zimbabwe.
Powered by Mastercard's Masterpass QR, EcoCash Scan & Pay enables subscribers to pay merchants directly from their mobile money accounts simply by scanning a QR code displayed at checkout with their smartphone or by entering a merchant identifier associated with the QR code into their feature phone.
The technology removes the need for consumers to carry cash or a physical wallet and frees both consumers and retailers from the costs, security risks and inconveniences associated with cash.
"One of the biggest opportunities to move Zimbabwe towards a cashless and financially inclusive society lies in leveraging something millions of Zimbabweans already hold in the palms of their hands - their mobile phones," said Ms Natalie Jabangwe, EcoCash CEO.
"We are excited to be the first and only mobile financial services provider in Zimbabwe to offer this innovative service to our customers, empowering them with a fast, simple and instant payment option that is already accepted at a wide range of retail outlets and businesses that accept Masterpass QR," Jabangwe said.
In Zimbabwe, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have become an integral sector in economic growth, contributing more than 60% of GDP, yet only a fifth are served by formal financial institutions.
With a large proportion of SMEs still transacting using cash, Masterpass QR provides a cost-effective, fast and easy-to-deploy solution, enabling these businesses to safely accept digital payments.
There are no prohibitive infrastructure costs associated with physical Point of Sale devices, as merchants simply display a QR code at checkout. Payment is near instantaneous and guaranteed.
"Masterpass QR is a game-changer as it enables smaller retailers to increase sales, draw new customers into their stores and open up new commerce channels with little to no investment," says Mr Gabriel Swanepoel, Vice President of Business Integration at Mastercard Southern Africa.
"We are pleased to partner with EcoCash to shape a new digital age of commerce in Zimbabwe - all using the market's existing mobile payments infrastructure," Swanepoel said.
Masterpass QR is now accepted at various stores and other acceptance locations across the country.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Deputy Director for Financial Markets and National Payments, Mr Josphat Mutepfa, commended the launch of EcoCash Scan & Pay, saying it would help speed up the uptake of electronic payments across the country in line with national policy.