EcocashSave now has 900,000 subscribers. Should Econet celebrate?

Tendai Mupaso Avatar

ecocash-logoEconet Wireless today announced that subscribers to their Ecocash Save mobile banking service have now reached 900,000. 50,000 more than subscribers to typical brick and mortar banking services in Zimbabwe combined. The announcement was made in the same release announcing that Ecocash Save will start lending cash to subscriber in early 2014.

The numbers are no doubt impressive and present real assets that Econet can leverage on in the future but there is little to celebrate in the current state if my suspicions are right. I am an EcocashSave subscriber but, like many others, my subscription has given EcocashSave zero value compared to my regular bank that I use week in week out. I imagine there are tens of thousands more who have opened the free EcocashSave accounts just to get the free SMSs that come with signing up.

Subscribers to EcocashSave open accounts free of charge and no initial deposit is required to activate the account. The question that Econet conveniently ignores is how many of their impressive 900,000 have active accounts with positive balances.

EcoCash recently launched the waya waya promo to encourage subscribers to save as little as $5 in their EcoCashSave accounts for 15 straight days. This is a clear indication that EcocashSave may have the numbers but more work still needs to be done to get deposits coming in. And then celebrate.

Quantity is good but it’s the quality that counts.



  1. Petros James

    It’s a game of numbers, not so much “quality” if you are dealing with a mass market product. The math is simple: a $5 balance for say 10% of the 900,000 (and growing) translates to $450,000

  2. Gandanga Matigari

    They have a mammoth task, they may not smile now, not soon and may never

    1. dave

      same thing people said when ecocash started but look where it is now, lets jus wait and see, brilliant product as far as im concerned, its tackling one issue which all banks in zim have failed to tackle, that of financial inclusion

      1. Tait

        Zvichafaya chete was resistant kuvhura eco cash acc at first but now i transfer more than $10 per week. They have a vision and keep calm, they will get ther

      2. ECOLEE

        ure dead right mate……..that is what they all said with ecocash..econet has a vision and it will come to pass

  3. Guest

    see the bigger picture, once you are hooked and you save as little as $5, and they put incentives of airtime etc, which to them come at nearly zero cost, for those 900,000 it will be $4,5 mill, cash. if that money spends a few nights in a good investment, thats a fair amount. Business in those neck of the woods is more of volumes than quality. Just like Google gives you all things for free, to get you hooked, then they sell advertising space, with an audience of billions. Big supermarket chain groups operate at near zero profits, but what they are after is the cash in hand, and where it sleeps they make millions off it. Tomorrow, the same cash is back in the system.

  4. sayer

    It always start with number that seem to have nothing to celebrate about. But get this, 8 Million subscribers and not all are constantly recharging their lines, but how much are Econet posting as after tax profit? People trust numbers, thats why we live in groups

  5. Benj

    The numbers posted here are a testimony of the success of EcoCash and it’s related services like EcoCashSave. The efforts by Econet have led to the previously excluded minority if not majority of our population access to banking services. Now Zimbabweans from across the country can save, withdraw money without the need to visit a banking hall. This is convenience and inclusion at it’s best.

  6. SoTypMe

    Yah, its all good and all but I’m NOT opening up one of those UNTIL I get an explanation on what happened to my ECOLIFE!

    Thought I should throw in one of these to balance things up…everyone seems to be so level headed here 🙂