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  • Ecocash Launches Free Remittance Service from UK and South Africa

    Ecocash Launches Free Remittance Service from UK and South Africa
  • Staff Writers
  • Staff Writer
  • Posted May 02, 2024
  • EcoCash, Zimbabwe's leading mobile money platform, has made a major move to capture a larger share of the lucrative diaspora remittance market. The company has announced that users in South Africa and the UK can now send money to EcoCash wallets in Zimbabwe for free, with recipients also able to cash out the funds without any charges.

    This initiative is set to bring massive savings for Zimbabwe's diaspora community, which sent home a staggering $1.5 billion in remittances last year. The majority of these remittances originate from South Africa and the UK, where leading money transfer operators like Mukuru and WorldRemit have traditionally charged fees ranging from 10% to 15%.

    EcoCash's fee-free remittance service poses a significant threat to these established players, introducing intense competition in a market that has long been dominated by their high fees. It remains unclear, however, whether EcoCash's offer is a temporary promotion or a permanent fixture.

    To facilitate the remittances, senders in the UK and South Africa can download the Sasai Money Transfer App, while recipients in Zimbabwe can access their EcoCash US dollar wallet by dialing *153# on their EcoCash-registered line.

    According to Econet Wireless Zimbabwe CEO Dr. Douglas Mboweni, the initiative aims to assist Zimbabweans in weathering the acute challenges posed by the ongoing drought, which has left over 2.7 million people in need of food aid. "We hope Zimbabweans in the Diaspora will use the savings to send more money home to their families," he stated.

    Mboweni further explained that Econet's extensive EcoCash agent network ensures even those in remote rural areas have access to low-cost financial services, reducing the need for recipients to travel long distances to collect cash.

    The Econet CEO also expressed hope that the move would encourage other remittance companies to reduce their fees, noting that it was time for remittances into Africa to be brought down to assist the continent's economic development agenda.

    Econet's decision to offer free remittance services for users in South Africa and the UK marks a significant development in the Zimbabwean diaspora remittance market. With the potential to bring substantial savings to the diaspora community, this move is expected to enhance the overall economic circumstances in Zimbabwe. As other companies evaluate their fee structures, the competition in this sector may intensify, ultimately benefiting the diaspora community and the country's economy.

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