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EcoCash levy halted amid complaints

By , Journalist
Zimbabwe , 29 Feb 2016

EcoCash levy halted amid complaints

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has been forced to stop a new levy on cash withdrawals following a barrage of complaints posted on social media by mobile money agents.

The telco's mobile money platform, EcoCash now has more than 5 million registered users. The service includes a tap and pay platform, in addition to mobile cross-border remittances and bill payments.

However, the issue of a new 0.5% levy being charged for withdrawing cash for use as cash-in-hand has irked mobile money agents.

Agents usually withdraw money from their float account to ensure sufficient cash-in-hand when there is a rise in demand for cash from customers.

And those who offer EcoCash services have aired their grievances online because they say they do not have access to their representative body, the Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe (MMTAAZ) since it has suspended operations in January.

"Please note that the 0.5% deduction to Agents withdrawals by Steward Bank has been suspended till further notice," EcoCash said on Twitter in response to one agent.

The agent had complained that the new 0.5% levy on withdrawals was "tantamount to triple dipping coz you get commission from transactions, from agent to agent then the 0.5%" levy.

"@EcoCashZW is it true that agent to agent in steward bank now costs 5 percent of the transacted amount," the agent said earlier in the thread, to which Econet responded: "Hi.. Please note that the charge is 0.5%".

Econet Wireless, as is the case with NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe, are increasingly looking up to value added services to make up for declining profitability from the traditional voice segment cash cow.

They are enhancing data capacity as well as expanding their mobile money platforms in a market dominated by cash transactions.

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