What happened to Ecocash Ta!

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Econet Wireless Zimbabwe
courtesy of TheZimbabweIndependent

Among the biggest telecoms company in Zimbabwe, Econet has been on the move to define technology with different products offering from EcoCash, EcoSure, EcoFarmer to the newest kid on the block Kwese TV.

Late 2015 the company made a move to come up with a product called Ecocash Ta! which in our view did not go well.

Ecocash Ta! which some of us are not familiar with was a device linked to one’s Ecocash account. The initiative was meant mainly for small players in the economy who rely on small value goods that require small amounts taking, for instance, $0.50c or $0.10c.

The device is first of its own kind in Zimbabwe and is part of EcoCash’s strategy to promote a cashless society in Zimbabwe where people do not have to carry cash to purchase goods.

“It is also a safer and convenient option for many vendors who have to carry cash with them, which increases the risk of theft. EcoCash Ta! will benefit vendors selling airtime, fruits and vegetables, potentially opening a new avenue for employment creation in a country where many people are surviving on informal trading,” said Douglas Mboweni, CEO of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe on the launch of the product.

“Our plan to revolutionise the way vendors and merchants receive payment for their goods by introducing a safe and convenient payment method that makes life easier for them and their customers as none has to carry cash on them,” said Mr Mboweni.

After Econet launched this Ecocash Ta few to none saw it in the streets, but this is the right time for Econet to remarket the Ecocash Ta taking advantage of the cash shortages prevailing in the country.

Econet Wireless should be well aware that its rival Netone’s One Money this year will be placing 50 000 of Point of sale machines more in Rural Areas to attain more revenue and to gain market share.

Ecocash Ta! involved the use of stickers that one would get from any Econet shop, stuck on the back of one’s mobile phone. By the time of launch, the sticker would allow one to transact low-value products less than $3.

The sticker worked for a hand in glove with a customised point of sale machines that a vendor would have. A pin was not required for the transaction which speaks to a process where one could move up to $3 into the EcoCash Ta account.

For those who didn’t actually knew how they said it worked, Ecocash Ta! was a sticker you use to tap and pay for everyday purchases up to $3 with No PIN required. One can stick it on your phone or anywhere you want to.

“Ecocash Ta! used the technology called Near Field Communication which enables our clients to tap their cellphone against a merchant or vendor’s enabled micro point-of-sale device and the value of the transaction will be automatically deducted from the client’s EcoCash account ” noted Econet.

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