Zimbabwe’s leading mobile money platform, EcoCash, has further widened its customers’ payment options by reactivating its MasterCard debit card, together with a virtual payment solution, to enable millions of customers to easily make global e-commerce payments safely and securely.
EcoCash was the first mobile money platform in Africa to embrace MasterCard in 2014, but the service was temporarily suspended in 2019 when the country banned the use of multiple currencies and made the Zimbabwe dollar the sole tender.
Mr Munyaradzi Nhamo, EcoCash’s chief operating officer, said the company reactivated its MasterCard service following the government’s recent decision to maintain the country’s multi-currency system by legislating the use of the United States dollar for the next five years.
“Over the past decade we have transformed mobile money transactions in Zimbabwe, and now we are moving to expand the payments ecosystem by opening the global marketplace for all our customers.
Our strong partnership with MasterCard will help us to achieve this,” he said.
With the EcoCash Debit Card, which is directly linked to your EcoCash wallet, customers enjoy unmatched convenience when they withdraw money at international ATMs as well as local US dollar ATMs.
“Our customers can also conduct international point-of-sale (POS) and contactless transactions using the EcoCash Debit Card,” said Mr Nhamo.
Although the physical debt card cannot perform transactions on domestic currency (ZW$) POS machines and online payments, the company has introduced an EcoCash virtual card that is instantly generated and activated by the customer for online shopping.
Mr Nhamo said the virtual card, which is generated and activated via the EcoCash Wallet, is valid for 28 days to enhance security.
“This empowers the customer to generate a card as and when they want to use it without visiting any brick-and-mortar structure.
Unlike the physical debit card or prepaid card, the EcoCash virtual card does not include a minimum loading value or purchase amount. Customers can pay for their goods and services for any amount,” he said.
“Additionally, customers can top up their cards through local and international remittances.”
By using the Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to EcoCash wallets, consumers and merchants can engage with brands and businesses abroad through digital commerce, thus extending their reach to an international marketplace and unlocking a host of opportunities.
This comes as local businesses – both formal and informal – have of late been increasingly sourcing goods and raw materials globally for resell in the Zimbabwean market.
However, rising fuel prices and travel costs are making most goods expensive for customers.
However, the introduction of EcoCash’s Mastercard virtual payment solution is expected to lower business costs as merchants and individuals can make payments to global online merchants through a seamless and secure digital payment experience on websites and mobile applications.
The service is available regardless the customer has a bank account or not.
“The Mastercard virtual card enables consumers to explore and shop at well-known global e-commerce brands and pay quickly and securely for leisure shopping, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services and more.
It will also allow small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the virtual payment solution,” said Mr Nhamo.
For instance, EcoCash customers can make online payments for Netflix, DSTv, Avon, Spotify and Apple Music among other platforms using the Mastercard virtual card.
EcoCash’s mobile payments solutions are at the forefront of connecting more Zimbabweans to new forms of commerce.
The company’s affordable mobile financial services are positively impacting communities and lifestyles in the country as evidenced by the phenomenal growth in both the number of customers and volume of transactions over the years.