More info on EcoCash’s new Tap & Go NFC Card

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
EcoCash Tap & Go Card

A few weeks ago we stumbled upon an EcoCash card payment system that was being used at an eatery in Harare. The system, which was under some form of stealth test phase, turned out to be powered by Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, as users simply tapped the cards against a merchant device.

Today we came across that same service being introduced in an official pilot launch from EcoCash. The card was being distributed to any willing sign up at selected tertiary institutions which include UZ, Seke Teachers’ College and Belvedere Teachers’ College.

We managed to get our hands on the cards(a product of Singapore startup Nearex) and glean some information about the system.

EcoCash Tap & Go
The EcoCash Tap & Go Card

Dubbed the “Tap and Go Card” it lets users pay for services by tapping against the merchant device which has already been given to some of the service providers taking part in this pilot. The transaction costs are the same as EcoCash merchant costs.

Regarding payment security, the card does not need the EcoWallet PIN for any transactions valued at $3 or less, although they are going to have a threshold for excessive transactions for that nominal value . Any transactions above $3 require confirmation via phone.

Some providers/ merchants that have been opted into this pilot include public transport operators (kombis) and a few other retail outlets which are likely going to be located at these tertiary institutions.

This is a huge step for mobile money payments, with a faster payment process that doesn’t require USSD. As another throwback to card payment tech it follows behind EcoCash’s MasterCard Debit card launched in July.

While mobile money doesn’t need cards fore its primary function, it definitely draws on their familiarity¬†for ease and convenience. It will be interesting to see this sort of tech being extended to peer to peer payments and transfers.

Have any comments and views on this topic? Please share in the comments below.



  1. Brighton

    Where are OTHERS ……. guys wake up and like it or not Salute Econet for all the new things and innovation in this struggling and dying economy and Econet has power to try with investments

  2. Ini

    That’s pretty interesting there. Isn’t it the first application of NFC on the public domain in Zim? Its more practical especially with our small day to day payments with the vendors, kombis, etc. Wonder what happens if I lose my card.

    1. 23456789

      its like a debit or credit card if you lose it you can cancel you previous one and get a new one

  3. Inini

    Brighton, OTHERS do not have the financial muscle currently enjoyed by Econet. I am sure given time and resources other players will get there. Good one though from Econet.

  4. mwalimu

    I would modify the authentication process to include a thumb print biometric reader on the accepting gadget.
    “Tink and thumb” off you go. Otherwise its a good innovation.

    1. Blanco

      Re read that again and consider practicality of what you are saying. Pay pass generally requires you to have better command of your possessions. An online portal to manage your account to disable your paywave card until you have located tit should provide reasonable security.

      Well done econet. Hopefully the eco cash card is pay wave ready

  5. tatenda zimba

    econet is really doing it BIG huh. all these tech advances are changing the way we make payments and do business generally. NICE!!

  6. Charles Chindove

    Good Tech! Which card is to be used for “the tap and go” on the merchant’s device? Is it the Ecocash Mastercard?

  7. zimictfan

    This looks cool. I can imagine the convenience of tap and go within the mother land. This could be another first from Zimbabwe. Welldone guys!

  8. Mzaya

    Innovation is defined as a new idea, device and process. Lets be careful how we apply this word in reference to Econet’s ‘innovative’ products….Ecocash = Mpesa, Nfc, is not tech introduced by Econet. Not to take anything away from Econet but they are not innovative, they are good at applying ideas they see in other parts of the world!!