StanChart Customers Might Need To Start Looking The OneMoney Direction Over EcoCash

Trycolyn Pikirayi Avatar

Recently, I got a tip from a Standard Chartered Bank user who pointed out that Swipe Into EcoCash was not working for them and actually hadn’t been for a while. Interestingly, this comes at a time when Standard Chartered Bank now has a direct link to OneMoney.

Let’s backtrack a bit…

So there’s always been this ‘tension’ between some local banks and EcoCash. Remember how customers for a long time requested that banks integrate with EcoCash (or its the other way round) but still nothing seemed to move. What makes it interesting is that it was always the other party’s fault. If you asked EcoCash, they’d give you the vibe that banks felt threatened by their existence and if you asked the banks, they’d tell you that EcoCash had some unreasonable expectations.

Nonetheless, depending on who the victim was, EcoCash either played smart or played the banks. So for those banks that were not willing to allow their customers to seamlessly transfer money from their bank account to their EcoCash wallet or viceversa, EcoCash went above them and made a deal with Steward Bank. The deal was to make use of the link that Steward Bank has with ZimSwitch in order to gain access to every other bank that was not integrated with them. This is how Swipe Into EcoCash came about.

Linking your bank to EcoCash was (and still is) extremely necessary considering how much of a cashless society we’ve become and how 97% of all e-transactions are EcoCash transactions. So the Swipe Into EcoCash came as a big relief to the customers whose banks had not yet been linked to EcoCash so much that some of the flaws of the system were easily masked by the excitement.

One of the flaws is how Swipe Into EcoCash depends only on the availability of a Steward Bank POS machine. And of course because there’s so many Steward Bank POS machines to go around, that flaw hasn’t been too evident.

However, this flaw came to light when the Standard Chartered debit card stopped working on Steward Bank POS machines. The bank says it’s a technical technical challenge and have committed to resolving it.

Meanwhile, people can ‘enjoy the convenience’ of transferring money from their StanChart account into OneMoney, a different mobile money platform. Clearly, mobile money has been more convenient for people in Zimbabwe hence it has been more preferable. Could this be how StanChart customers are somehow forced to use OneMoney instead? I know there’s not as many shops/service providers taking OneMoney as there are those taking EcoCash, but it is things like these that begin to shift the dynamics of the system.

The conspiracy theorist in me is tempted to think this “coincidence” was deliberate. Deliberate for various reasons. One of them being getting back at EcoCash for ‘cheating the system’; well of course business does not operate like that, but believe me in Zimbabwe it can! The other reason would be to disable EcoCash just so OneMoney can become a more visible and viable option considering the current status quo of how EcoCash dominated the mobile money world is.

But like I said, these are just theories…



  1. Kubs

    I have had OneMoney for a month and half – rarely use it because individual to individual they have just not got many subscribers – I only use the card on POS mostly. They need more more savvy marketing.

  2. JamesM

    Stanchart, one of a number of legacy banks that have been around since time began having a hard time learning new tricks in the digital economy with their OneMoney idea. Notice I said ‘idea’ because I don’t see OneMoney impacting into EcoCach’s market dominance ever. EcoCash is part of an ecosystem that loops together Econet mobile, Steward Bank, Kwese, etc, oh btw, now insurance, into a brand offering. Stanchart appears to have just thrown this OneMoney idea into the market hoping it will bite. Old dog Stanchart, has some long ways to go learning new tricks.

  3. TD

    Are there more details from the bank about the “technical challenge”?

  4. WeZaka

    The fact that I can swipe with money works well for me. Have you noticed that it takes long make transactions on ecocash as compared to swiping. At times Econet network is overwhelmed to see a transaction through. If Econet could zero rate their mobile app that would save time as well. In the same note Netone need to develop its own zero-rated app as well as short codes.

    1. dzom

      The EcoCash mobile app is zero rated on Econet.

      1. Anonymous

        Iwe, if you don’t have data, the EcoCash Mobile App (data) does not work.

    2. taa

      i hv bn using the app since day 1 and i can tell u that it is zero rated if u are using an econet sim card…

      1. brc

        without some sort of data bundle be it whatsapp or any other
        its hard to use the Ecocash app

  5. Mwalimu

    StanChart is a conservative bank period.

  6. Worried

    At least stanchart is doing something… Come over to the dark side… Aka Barclays… Where they act as a higher siphoning money in… They only do zipit one way into the account… No ecocash… Only way to get money out is through RTGS for a ridiculous $5 and swipe…. I have not taken cash out of this place in about 2 yrs… The queue are too long… If was not too hard to change accounts…. I would have dropped these guys long time ago

  7. Tapiwa✓

    The younger folk might not remember Econet denying banks USSD access to enable (actual) mobile banking when Ecocash was young and vulnerable. In any other country, such anti-competitive actions wouldn’t have been countenanced, but here we are. Maybe the Stanchart clients who value Ecocash over their current bank should switch to Steward bank?