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EcoCash: How it Controls Zimbabwe’s Financial System

Harare - The recent ban by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on all mobile cash transaction has prejudiced almost 10 million users.  The EcoCas...

Harare - The recent ban by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on all mobile cash transaction has prejudiced almost 10 million users. 

The EcoCash platform was launched on 29 September 2011, partly to solve the cash crisis. Since then, it has become a virtual monopoly.

To date, it controls 94.5 percent of mobile money transactions in the country. Meanwhile, EcoCash has threatens to shut the whole system, effectively stopping the government from accessing its 2 percent levy on mobile transactions. 

“Pulling down EcoCash could thus mean loss of life, loss of opportunities that could save livelihoods and financial loss running into hundreds of millions if not billions,” Cassava says in its papers.

And here are the numbers.
Thousands People Affected by Mobile Money Transactions 

99.4 percent - is how much EcoCash controls in terms of the value of money that moves on mobile phones, according to data from the Postal and Telecoms Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ). Telecash and OneMoney process just 0.1% and 0.5% respectively.

94.5 percent - this is EcoCash’s share of the number of mobile money subscribers in the country, according to POTRAZ. The closest rival is far behind; NetOne’s OneMoney controls just 4.7%. Telecel’s Telecash service holds just 0.8 percent. 

10,562,070 - the current number of EcoCash users, according to its court papers.

86.5 percent - mobile money accounts for 86.5 percent of all the transactions in the country. Of these, EcoCash controls 94.5 percent. EcoCash is also plugged in to at least 10 banks, allowing users to move money between their bank accounts and phones.

Z$44.7 million - the was how much was transacted on mobile money in the week to September 6, the last available data from RBZ.

50,000 - that is the total number of EcoCash agents that have now been put out of business after the RBZ directive. Earlier, EcoCash announced it had cancelled the licences of at least 4,000 agents for charging illegal commissions for cash withdrawals.

US$78 billion: That’s how much EcoCash has transacted on its platform since launch in 2011, according to the last results of Cassava Smartech. 

In terms of cash transactions alone, EcoCash, in its court papers, says it has handled cash-in transactions worth US$10.2 billion and Z$7.54 billion since 2011.

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