So one of the reasons I will talk about today is: Accessibility.
So we all know that EcoCash was not the first mobile money platform to exist in Zimbabwe right? To be honest, I’m one of those people who for a while thought it was. In fact, the existence of the platform is what actually familiarised most Zimbabweans to the whole concept of mobile money – still is I think.
Anyway, before EcoCash, there was Skhwama (meaning pocket) then OneWallet. Of late, Techzim has been talking a lot about the latter (rebranded to OneMoney) since it recently finally launched its own debit card. Both Skhwama and OneWallet were great innovations but they failed on execution. I say that because despite Skhwama’s one year or so head start, according to POTRAZ, it still registers the least growth in terms of active subscribers.
And oh by the way, Skhwama is now known as Telecash, just in case you’re now wondering how you didn’t come across that name in any of the recent POTRAZ reports.
So despite EcoCash being last to come onto the scene, it made sure that no breathing man could ignore it. They made sure they were visible and in their visibility, quite accessible. So instead of just putting billboards that talked about EcoCash, they put them close to their EcoCash agents so that not only would you know about the service, but use it.
Same goes for their website. Besides the individual accounts login that some requested, the website has almost everything one can need to enquire from EcoCash without the need to call.
I commend it because I’ve gone through a lot of websites trying to get some specific information but no, websites have just been reduced to show face with not much useful detail. I would have resorted to name dropping but that would mean two more pages of stating names and besides Joseph T Muchichwa and Muranda specifically asked me to go slow on that, so I will…for now.
The website also gives you the locations of all the available EcoCash agents. Say you want to travel somewhere for the first time and would want to cash in/out at some point, there’s need for you to know which places to go. I know it’s hard to imagine not finding an EcoCash agent anywhere but they are not as common in rural areas as in the urban areas as indicated by the POTRAZ report. So it would really be ideal for you to check on the website first especially if travelling to the rural areas.
Apart from agents, merchants also played a big role in making EcoCash accessible. Fact that you could now pay for goods and services in a lot of different places made it more reliable thus making the platform even more popular. Even better when cash became scarce but I’m not going to talk about that right now. Oh and by the way, you can also find merchant locations on the EcoCash website too just in case you need them.
So startups, entrepreneurs, businesses etc, sure you can get a hint or two from this and apply as much of it as you can onto your next endeavour…–tezim