What’s going on with EcoCash Transactions?

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar
EcoCash App, EcoCash WhatsApp scam

It seems users are facing challenges with EcoCash platform quite frequently. Transactions have been failing at an alarming rate and back in March Econet blamed some of these errors on their servers. The fact that the errors are still occurring have prompted us to take a closer look at what’s actually happening.

Swipe into EcoCash: A Two-Way Street

The swipe into EcoCash feature relies on communication between two parties and at times this is where the complications arise. Every time a person ‘swipes into EcoCash’ the two entities involved include the person’s bank and their EcoCash account. This means if either the bank’s system or EcoCash is down then the transaction is bound to fail.

This means that EcoCash is not entirely to blame for some of the failures of swipe into EcoCash failures. I believe when they responded suggesting that the fault lies entirely with them and their servers that could have been a more diplomatic approach to avoid tension with their partners (the banks) in the swipe into EcoCash service.

What’s up with the ZESA tokens?

The issue of Zesa tokens has also been contentious and sparked the acrimony between EcoCash and their customer –which resulted in the user being blocked- over the weekend.

It seems that a number of users are having trouble when they purchase electricity via EcoCash. Either the tokens they get are dysfunctional or the transaction is completed but then the customer does not receive a recharge token afterward.

When users reach out to EcoCash they are attended to by a bot which is unable to address their concerns. When we reached out to EcoCash they made it clear that the bots are not an issue because people can always opt out and ask for assistance from a human. Here is the response from Econet:

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) or bots is for the purpose of supporting more customers quicker, and improve the overall customer experience.

However, its use is optional. A customer can choose to chat with a human agent, rather than use AI. To use AI, they have to voluntarily register first, with the option to engage a human agent whenever they feel the need to.

Is there a problem with their customer service?

Usually Econet customer service agents, seem well trained and they give knowledgeable and helpful answers for the most part. The current problems with customer support are thus surprising.

The problem especially with Ecocash related services is that money is a sensitive issue. No one wants any stories told regarding their money whether or not the issues are genuine. Customers will already be frustrated by the time they call customer service agents which further complicates the situation.

For example, if someone buys electricity and the transaction fails they will not be particularly pleased if they are told to wait 72 hours for the transaction to be reversed because that may mean that person is left in the dark for three whole days.

A colleague once went through a failed transaction on Ecocash which almost to cost them an extra year in school. That’s the impact of financial transactions unfortunately.

We are now spoilt

Much of the frustration with these services is also because as consumers we have become spoilt. Before these technologies and services were available we did not wait until power is about to switch off before we bought tokens. We always had contingencies for these things.

Ecocash promising to resolve our issue in 72 hours sounds like too much right now but before Ecocash banking errors took longer, sometimes weeks to resolve. That’s the thing with technology, it makes us quickly forget how it used to be.

But it’s not really our fault

Yes, we may be spoilt but it is the service providers themselves that promise this convenience. Also, once we have used their products we then intergrate them into our lives and expect them to work when we need them to.

The reality is that once service has been delivered in a particular way, the bar will have been set right there and the customer’s expectation will have been set too.

No user expects a service they have been told to rely on to fail when they are in an emergency. For example, if someone is forced (by circumstance) to pay an exam fee  on the deadline they would not want an EcoCash transaction to fail and have to wait 72 hours before they can get that money back.

Service providers should just make their services as reliable as possible because in the case of exam fees they will not necessarily be able to compensate customers for the 12 months required before they can register again.


  1. Adam Gwaze

    It may be attributed to cyber security threats.

  2. sg

    are zesa servers always up?

  3. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Are you honestly trying to justify poor service delivery on consumers being “spoilt”, when the present technology is 100% capable of meeting expectations? I guess we should not complain when emails get delayed, because letters used to take 3 days to deliver. You deserve mediocre service, once you expect mediocre service.

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      That is why I went on to talk about the flip side of things; which is that service providers promise a working service so they should deliver on it. Do not look at things in isolation and please consider the whole point being made. Thanks for the feedback

      1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

        I looked at that point in isolation because, even out of isolation, it is an endorsement of mediocrity. The “flip side” point, follows off the idea of consumer being spoilt, so it still suffers from the same problem. The blame lies squarely with the service provider, period. The author is trying to seem impartial, to EcoCashs failures, by spreading the blame around.

  4. $$$

    Spoilt hoodie that get in…were they not clamouring for access to zesa in the first place… 2ndly one money is offering a discount yet ppl are not taking it up… There are other options.. blocking a customer signifies what Econet customer service is all about… It’s about time we brought in competition and this time I think a foreign company will be better… The strangle good must end…. I’m taking of at least another 2 competitors

  5. Situpeti

    I was expecting you to dig deeper and atleast get answers and share . There is a very reasonable explanation for failure of Zesa tokens and does not affect Ecocash only, dig deeper.

  6. Sagitarr

    Years ago, when mainframe computers were still “King” whenever a salary slip or bill reflected an outrageous amount, it was all blamed on “the computer”, until people became familiar with computer systems and realized these were data capture errors or poor data validation or system controls. I don’t believe that any serious tech company would be satisfied with a mediocre and unsatisfactory answer in response to a technical challenge that risks lowering their brand quality or QOS as far as serving customers/clients is concerned. Unless they no longer want to be in that business.

  7. Lamont

    The ecocash debit card has a 70% failure rate. Speaking for myself. I’m Zb agent and if a token fails it automatically refunds immediately but ecocash takes 72 hours half the time and the other half you never get a refund. When you contact them they always a good excuse for you instead of a refund. I lost over $150 in token purchase last year I contacted ecocash for months until gave up following up. I’d advise don’t buy token or use ecocash debit card . It’s over a year of their system problem failing but they seem to have no interest in rectifying their system

    1. WeZaka

      Imbavha, they steal and give you a bible verse. Simply don’t buy ZESA tokens using this demon called ecocash. chikwambo chinokusveta ropa