Econet’s Mobile Money service, EcoCash, and its technology partner Nearex, today announced that EcoCash TA!, the path breaking contactless micropayment service from Econet that was launched in Zimbabwe in December 2015, can be experienced at the MWC 2016 at Barcelona.
Econet is the leading mobile operator of Zimbabwe and its mobile money service, EcoCash, is a thriving platform for remittances, bill payments, insurance and other financial service needs of Zimbabwean. EcoCash has now extended its service to its 5 million customers, to facilitate daily micro payments, for as little as $0.10 with EcoCash TA!, The tap and pay micropayment offering has the potential to make Zimbabweans lead the world with mass market cashless payments.
EcoCash TA! is based on Xip micropayment platform from Nearex, a Singapore headquartered technology company. At the core of the platform is XipPOS, an extremely low cost mobile NFC POS that EcoCash is currently offering to the merchant community for less than $0.13 per day along with an EcoCash merchant account, making it possible for informal sector merchants to have one of the most affordable electronic cash registers in the world. EcoCash’s XipPOS offering will drive financial inclusion of hundreds of thousands of micro and small merchants across Zimbabwe with a sophisticated mobile NFC POS.
Existing subscribers of EcoCash can obtain a XipTAG, an NFC sticker that can be stuck on any phone, at a cost of just $1 each. Subscribers can just tap their phone on a XipPOS and make payments of any denomination from their EcoCash wallet. Transactions up to $1, are processed for free, making such micro-transactions completely affordable and eliminating any need for small coins. Transactions above $1 attract a competitive fees of just 1% providing all the benefits of a cashless transaction to both the subscriber as well as merchant for a very little cost.
“Zimbabwe has played a leading role in financial inclusion through EcoCash mobile money payments. In moving to the next level of the financial inclusion lifecycle, disruptive innovation is necessary to ensure that day to day micro transactions are formalised,” said Douglas Mboweni, CEO of Econet, adding that “EcoCash Ta! tap and pay service, comes in as the catalyst to formalizing small to medium enterprise sector estimated at $2bn in value, which is largely informal, to-date.”
Mayank Sharma, CEO of Nearex, further commented, “Mobile wallets are rapidly chasing the mighty mobile phones that have reached nearly everyone on the planet, yet money sent from one mobile wallet to the other needs to be cashed out before it is used for payments. Nearex has developed XIP, a mobile micropayment solution, from the ground up to compete with the convenience, affordability and acceptability of cash. We are delighted that a visionary operator such as Econet has selected XIP as a platform to deliver the immense benefit of widespread cashless payments to Zimbabwean society through its path breaking product EcoCash TA!. We are glad to showcase it at our stand at 7K01 at MWC this year and invite everyone to experience it.”
About Econet Wireless Zimbabwe: Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe’s largest provider of telecommunications services, providing solutions in mobile and fixed wireless telephony, internet access, mobile money transfer and payment solutions. Econet launched its network on the 10th of July 1998 and listed on 17th September 1998. It is one of the largest companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in terms of market capitalisation. Econet holds over 65% share of the Zimbabwe mobile market, with over 9-million customers. Find Econet Wireless Zimbabwe at www.econet.co.zw.
About Nearex: Nearex is a mobile micropayments technology company headquartered in Singapore. Nearex offers Xip, a solution consisting of XipPOS – a mobile merchant terminal for receiving payments; XipTAG – a secured contactless TAG issued to a consumer to make payments; and XipMS – the core technology platform. The solution is typically offered to the end users through partnership with mobile operators offering mobile money or financial institutions with mobile wallet services. Xip has been commercially deployed by leading mobile operators in multiple markets across Africa. Nearex is founded by a professional team with extensive experience in mobile and fintech domain. It is funded by Tata Capital, Beenos Asia, and Xinvesco.