“Our Shops Usually Have Cash, For Cash Outs” – EcoCash

William Chui Avatar

If you just crawled out from under a rock and been there for a year, welcome.

A lot has happened over the past twelve months, from Zimbabwe introducing “its own currency” (the bond note) to NetOne rebranding their mobile money service OneWallet to OneMoney. What has been most interesting however has been the cash crisis that Zimbabwe’s been going through and how cash has been difficult to come by.

Ecocash, Zimbabwe’s largest mobile money solution, that processes 98% of the mobile money transactions locally, has been faced with a few challenges as they become a victim of their own success. Chief among these challenges is the failure for its customers to get their hands on cash and EcoCash’s agents charging a premium to those wanting to cash-out.

EcoCash has come out stating this is ‘illegal’ and anyone made to pay more than the stipulated EcoCash transaction fee should report that Agent and/or Merchant and they’ll take action.

Customers have been caught between not paying this premium that’s demanded or going somewhere where cash is available.

Sadly, cash has been elusive and so many people just give in and pay the premium and go on about their business.

EcoCash, at least through their Facebook page, has advised what customers should do in order to get their hands on cash from the service. Said an EcoCash Customer Care Agent (emphasis mine):

Please be advised that EcoCash has no charges outside the ones on our tariff charts. Please do not accept to pay the extra fee as this is the only way to stop this practice. Kindly note that Econet shops often have cash for cash-out transactions. Kindly visit your nearest Econet shop and ask the usual times they have cash so that you can also be able to access it. ^TS

This is different to those who will be sent cash from outside the country as EcoCash has guaranteed that they will receive cash, in the form of US dollars together with a 7% bonus in bond notes.

No attempts have been made by Techzim to establish how true this is, however, if research from the last couple of months is anything to go by this is all smoke and mirrors, as practice on the ground shows otherwise.

Things may have changed though, so we’ll extend the benefit of the doubt to them and advise you that should you need cash out of your EcoCash wallet, from money that was transferred by someone locally, then go to an Econet shop and ask them their dates and times when they will have cash. Better yet, if you could come into the comments and advise where and when you managed to get cash without needing to pay a premium for withdrawals, that would be awesome.

What I’m really interested to know, however, is why you need cash? What would you like to pay for that does not accept ‘swipe’ and/or EcoCash? If you could pay this expense with ‘plastic money’ would you still need cash?



  1. Zaniest Zimbabwean

    Things like madomasi, ice cream, chibage, kupa vana mai kumusha mari etc, it just has to be hard cash

    1. William Chui

      But can vegetables not be bought in a shop? And do the vendors that you’d be trying to buy from not accept EcoCash?

      To send money to ‘vana mai kumusha’ what will she be needing cash for? What kind of payments will she be making?

      1. TtD

        Hausi kurarama munyika ino kasi uno driver kai, ecocash sends minimum of $1, saka urikuti combie iite dollar,

        1. juma

          ndovacho varikubva pasi pematombo

    2. wacpop

      …madomasi, ice cream, chibage, (vana mai kumusha are now using ecocash for chigayo) etc…one can pay using ecocash for all these!

  2. Pissed off

    No Kombi accepts ecocash,
    No vendor accepts ecocash
    Chineese shops are cheaper but no ecocash
    Lobola doesn’t use ecocash or swipe
    Sometimes swipe is offline
    Most shops no longer accept ecocash
    Kotamai doesnt take ecocash
    Service stations swipe oftenly offline

    Swipe and ecocash just sucks sometimes

    1. Julius

      Hey it’s true

  3. Mau Mau

    Received cash today from econet shop in Chinhoyi without being charged extra.

    1. Mfundisi

      Lucky ,they usually say hatina mari

  4. Observer

    kombis dont take Ecocash and my kid needs $1 everyday for lunch.

  5. kim

    Guys lets be realistic, coverage is till limited in many areas. In some instances you have to climb a mountain to get network. Cash yagara inotodiwa

  6. patriot

    cash is king, its just expensive to do these everyday small transactions you end up parting ways with a few dollars as transaction charges. (2%+0.05) for every transaction under $50 is just too much.

  7. Faith

    I agree with pissed off.

  8. Faith

    If the system of plastic money is going to be viable. proper measures need to be put in place ,for starters; working swipe machines that are not always offline.

  9. TtD

    Combie chibaba, madomasi

  10. Okech

    Why do you ask me why I need cash when it is my money to do what I want with it and at anytime?

  11. Cheated

    Easy I want to buy forex to replenish my stock… Travel outside Zim… Secondly there’s no extra charge on cash… Just yesterday after complaining to my bank I found out that Cbz for coporate accounts charges $30 for 20 transaction…. After that the charges go up… And that’s for any transaction in and out…I got a swipe so for every swipe im paying… Plus can you beige this 10 for internet banking…. Then there’s the econet charges…I prefer cash where there’s no charges… And secondly why should I save in Zim dollars… I’ve been saving in USD for a long time… We all need cash to save on charges… If I have to pay a supplier 20 …I pay money on that… And don’t act like you going to leave your savings in ecocash… No verbify whatsoever

  12. Joshua Chisango

    I’m in Bulawayo uye ndingafara chose mukandipa mazita ema outlets arikupa cash acho? Econet Robert Mugabe haina cent so tibatsirei nemazita acho. Regai kunyepera vanhu

  13. Helen

    How do you join?