Econet Wireless and the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) have entered into a partnership which will enable EcoCash users to pay tollgate fees using the platform.
The new system will be available at 20 tollgates across Zimbabwe before being rolled out country wide.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni said the service would help travelling motorists to experience the convenience of using EcoCash while providing Zinara with a safe, secure and convenient revenue collection method.
“The state of the art value proposition is not the ordinary Pay Merchant, but a specific solution unique to Zinara, which allows users to link a mobile phone wallet with a registered vehicle for auto-detection and instant access at the tollgate,” she said.
“The auto detection of the pre-loaded toll wallet at toll gate offers complete disruption to the manual payment method of cash and cards, saving motorists queuing time with a payment experience of under 10 seconds granting express toll access to motorists.”
Currently tollgate fees are pegged at $2 for light vehicles and $3 for minibuses whilst buses, heavy vehicles and haulage trucks pay $4, $5 and $10 respectively.
Zimbabwe's mobile and Internet transactions breached the $1 billion in March, as locals migrate to cash-lite payments on the back of acute cash shortages.
Data from the central bank indicates that mobile and Internet transactions in Zimbabwe — which has been battling a cash crisis for over a year — closed the month of March 2017 at $1,1 billion up from the $796,3 million recorded in February 2017.
Since the country’s cash shortages began, cash-obsessed locals have been forced to migrate to alternative payment methods with the RBZ aggressively lobbying for a migration to cash-lite transactions.
Mobile money payments in Zimbabwe accounted for 81,2 percent of all electronic payment transactions maintaining the dominance mobile money services have had in transaction volumes, with this increase in alternative cash methods attributed to the cash shortages.
ECONET Wireless’ mobile banking facility EcoCash has partnered with Central Africa Building Society (CABS) to enhance customer banking and merchant services.
In a joint Press statement, the two parties said the partnership would result in the rolling out of a first of its kind, unique point of sale integration solution, which allows EcoCash users to simply enter their mobile number at retailers’ integrated or stand-alone point of sale devices.
“EcoCash pin validation is done via the customer’s registered mobile device. To ensure the ecosystem is balanced end to end, banking services have also been introduced for CABS customers that hold EcoCash wallets.
“To enjoy the convenience, customers can transfer funds between CABS and EcoCash and from EcoCash to CABS in real-time, 24/7,” read the statement.
EcoCash limit for transactions within Zimbabwe has been increased from $1,000 per day to $5,000. The monthly limit has been raised to $20,000 from $3,000.
An SMS sent to EcoCash customers reads: "We are please to advise that your EcoCash limit for transactions within Zim has been revised to $5,000 per day and $20,000 per month."