Buying Online Made Easy With Ecocash VCN…

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How to buy Ecocash VCN

Unbeknownst to a lot of people, buying things online from Zimbabwe is actually a very simple process. Since 2014, through EcoCash Debit card, if you’re on EcoCash you can buy stuff online from a range of sites that include (America’s biggest online shop), AliExpress (cheap gadgets from China), Alibaba (cheap bulk buying from China), iTunes (apps, movies, songs), Facebook (for advertising), Google (storage on Drive, Adwords for advertising), online software services like Sage One accounting and a host of other services too many to mention here. You can even pay with it on sites that request PayPal payments.

The payment is deducted from the EcoCash wallet balance.

To start paying online, all you need to do is simply get a VCN, which just means a Virtual Card Number. There’s a common misconception that getting a VCN is a complex process. It is not, and below we list the simple steps that anyone with EcoCash can do at anytime, either via USSD or using the EcoCash App available here for Android and/or iOS.

To buy get a VCN from your mobile phone, do the following:
i. Dial *151# and enter EcoCash PIN
ii. Select Wallet Services
iii. Select EcoCash Debit Card
iv. Select EcoCash MasterCard Virtual
v. Request VCN
vi. Enter nickname for card (any nick name)
vii. Enter 1 and submit your request
viii. You will receive an SMS with the virtual card number, card expiry date and the CVV2 number.

Ecocash VCN online payments

If you use the app (which you should if you have a smartphone):
i. Log on to the mobile app
ii. Select card services
iii. Select MasterCard Virtual
iv. Enter a 4 letter nickname of your choice
v. Enter your PIN and submit
vi. You will receive an SMS with the virtual card number, card expiry date and the CVV2 number.

Once you have those 3 things (VCN, Expiry Date and CVV2) you’re all set to make payments.

Whenever requested to make a payment on a site just input the VCN where the site requests for a credit card number, input the Expiry Date where it requests for one, Your Name and address as registered with Econet, and the CVV2 where it requests for a CVV number.

Submit the payment and you’re done! Should you face any problems, just call Econet on 114.


  1. Tendai Katsuwa

    I was also surprised yesterday. I went into an Econet Shop to get a debit card since buying using the Ecocash app through the merchant machine takes longer. I was then surprised to see that i can generate virtual card numbers and buy online in any country. or use any MasterCard facility in any country – that’s huge! and the card is free, transaction charges reasonable. Inga cash crisis yakanaka” nhai?!

    This is one of Econet products which has not been advertised well.

    1. Allaz

      Its NOT free, you pay for it – check your balances again – it costs 50 or 60 cents. don’t quite remember exact figure – but you do pay for it! It also expires in 14 days – bear that in mind. But yah its a great service – been using it almost two years now.

  2. @code_writer

    I have been using this service for a year now, very convenient and secure. Not quick sure if the charges are a bit fair.

    1. Muzukuru

      They are trust me. My stupid bank charges a minimum $2.50 plus another $1 even for transactions as low as $4

  3. Warren

    But it does not seem to be working at the moment, payment is being declined

    1. Maniki niki

      True Warren, l tried making a payment to South Africa and the payment was rejected.

      1. Allaz

        Try route it through PayPal – I’ve had that issue when buying from – they reject the EcoCash VCN. But if you link that same VCN to your PayPal account and then pay through PayPal it works fine. It doesn’t look like you get charged any extra either. I think the merchant bears the charges from PayPal maybe.

    2. Allaz

      Try route it through PayPal – I’ve had that issue when buying from – they reject the EcoCash VCN. But if you link that same VCN to your PayPal account and then pay through PayPal it works fine. It doesn’t look like you get charged any extra either. I think the merchant bears the charges from PayPal maybe.

      1. martin mazivisa

        how do i open a paypal account pliz help will need to link it with my ecocash debitcard or steward mastercard

  4. Candy

    Please note: Most SA gateways do not accepts cards issued outside SA. And many of them requires credit cards which are 3D secure in order to purchase, for example, The Foschini Group, Massmart subsidiaries like Makro Online & Dion Wired etc. However, instore, your Ecocash Debit card buys as usual. Maybe it has to do with the payment gateway used, like the Naspers PayU.

    1. taraz

      Very spot on Candy, you emptied my words was about to type the same, then I saw your comment

  5. kaysiz

    i was a fan of it bt recently guys that card dont wont no more. Tried generating vcn and was told Sony Experia does not receive the text messages, tried buying hosting space on namecheap, card was rejected, tried using paypal with it, it was rejected again, tried buying hosting space again on afrihost and it was rejected, apparently they are not 3D verification certified. So in a nutshell its now crap

  6. kh

    The only reason why your transactions are being declined for transactions outside Zimbabwe is Because of depleted nostro accounts that facilitate the process.

    1. Tich

      True Kh.

  7. Troy

    “…either via USSD or using the EcoCash App available here …”, which here is this. you forgot to put a link

    i am of the opinion that this service is poorly marketed. product awareness is crucial. its functionality is a different ball game

  8. The Nuk

    I love using this virtual mastercard but only setback is that it doesn’t work on the google play store. I think econet should have an option to use the physical card number to make payments on sites that don’t allow virtual cards.

  9. Rational Ear

    Ecocash VCN still not working. Tried it this morning on some sites and even tried using it via Paypal. A waste of time.

    Meanwhile, these guys keep promoting businesses outside Zimbabwe – Amazon, Alibaba, Ebay etc, and not even a single mention of Zim’s own online stores. Don’t we have online stores in Zimbabwe?

  10. Frustrated

    I managed to make payments yesterday and today as well on various websites that request for the CV2. All websites that are not asking for the CV2 I just cannot seem to make any payment. I went to Econet and they said there’s nothing they can do about that

  11. Tsenny

    My bank gives me a normal ATM card for local transactions and a Mastercard for international transactions all linked to my main account. Otherwise you will be forced to part ways with money for a short term card. My current card I been using it for 3 years now at no additional cost. Imagine 50 or 60 cents in 3 years. I can buy Tommy shoes in Bata for my mother.

  12. Kay C Jamerson

    The ecocash vcn works on iTunes but I could never get it to work on Google Play, it’s nice being able to purchase Apps and Apple Music though

  13. Agnes

    The ecocash vcn has been working for me personally just recently used it on Amazon, Mr Price and Aliexpress. On other websites I use my banks MasterCard like the Fbc prepaid card and Steward MasterCard they work best with PayPal as they have a longer expiry date.

  14. JavaCard

    Ecocash VCN are not working at the moment. I have been calling 114 since monday. The cards are being declined on a number of sites and the callcentre attendents are not trained on how the mastercard transaction work, they seem to have been told that tell the customer that it’s a problem of the website u r buying from. the truth is, since 27 june when i first attempted to subscribe my monthly online services, the VCN thing aint working, apa they have no hope if it will work anytime soon, i had to use my stanchat visa and u know the charges

  15. Anonymous

    Working, but they should include the ability to see transaction rather than having to call the toll free number.

  16. Selestine

    Tried buying the VCN and sms sent to me only has CVV number and expiry date. So I have no virtual card number. Also Aliexpress requires a security code or is it the CVV? Please help!

  17. Cecil

    So what’s the status it working on pay pal?

  18. Taru

    What are the charges for using this card abroad? Say to withdraw money from an ATM in SA or to swipe to buy groceries in a supermarket like PicknPay?

  19. Robin V

    is it possible purchasing items that require PayPal method of payment

  20. legend

    it this facility still working

    1. blessed

      it’s working.I made an online transaction to India using the Virtual card. I’m however unable to make payents on Amazon with it.

  21. Tee

    Is it possible to get your money back into your wallet if your order has been canceled. Yesterday my order was canceled and they say a refund has been processed but i still haven’t got anything yet.

  22. sla

    been three days trying to purchase something in the USA. is it still working???

  23. Blessed

    What abt now l want to puchase, from Nigeria using nettler method is it work