“The EcoCash MasterCard debit card is a milestone towards realising MasterCard’s vision of a cashless society,” says Charlton Goredema, Vice President and Area Business Head, Southern Africa, MasterCard. “Demonstrating the value of close collaboration in the financial services and payments technology industries, EcoCash and MasterCard have devised an innovative payment product that addresses Zimbabwe’s market realities, particularly by acknowledging the impact mobile money has on the country’s economy.”
“The adoption of electronic payments is critical to Zimbabwe’s economic development. Reducing dependency on cash while increasing financial inclusion benefits the whole country including the government, industry sectors like tourism and retail, merchants and citizens,” says Douglas Mboweni, CEO of Econet.
According to Today, research 40% Zimbabweans are financially excluded while another 22% rely on informal financial products or services. EcoCash aims to help change this. as its customers will be able to withdraw money from MasterCard-licensed ATMs and pay for goods and services at millions of merchants that accept MasterCard payment cards, both in Zimbabwe and internationally.
“The integration of these products and services are particularly exciting for EcoCash customers,” says EcoCash CEO Cuthbert Tembedza. “We look forward to offering Zimbabweans even more ways to benefit from the security and convenience of electronic payments as they engage with, and contribute to, the formal economy.”
Though over 85% of retail payments globally still involve cash or cheque, they are riskier and bulky. Governments are rapidly driving the conversion from cash to electronic payments as they realise the benefits of a cashless society, namely increased transparency, cost effectiveness, financial inclusion, foreign investment and economic growth.
“As EcoCash enables its customers to benefit from MasterCard’s global payments network, we are assisting Zimbabwe to integrate its economy with those elsewhere in the world. Importantly, we are also contributing to the financial freedom of individuals,” says Goredema.