International payment card firm MasterCard has partnered with African mobile money service and subsidiary of Econet, EcoCash, to enhance cashless payments in Zimbabwe.
The collaboration will result in over 3 million MasterCard debit cards being issued throughout Zimbabwe. The cards will be linked directly to customers’ EcoCash account. This marks the first time MasterCard debit cards will be made available in the region and is also the largest rollout of EMV pin & chip equipped cards in Zimbabwe, ever.
“The adoption of electronic payments is critical to Zimbabwe’s economic development. Reducing dependency on cash while increasing financial inclusion, benefits the whole country including the government, industry sectors like tourism and retail, merchants and citizens,” stated Douglas Mboweni, CEO of Econet.
Currently, an estimated 40% of Zimbabweans are not linked to any financial institution and another 22% relying primarily on informal financial services, such as the M-Pesa money transfer service.
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Econet’s EcoCash has found its footing Zimbabwe and has successfully provided solutions for un-banked and under-banked citizens, letting them transfer funds through the mobile service. With the introduction of MasterCard’s EcoCash, citizens will now be able to interact with their EcoCash accounts in different way. The cards will be accepted wherever MasterCard is supported.
“The integration of these products and services are particularly exciting for EcoCash customers. We look forward to offering Zimbabweans even more ways to benefit from the security and convenience of electronic payments as they engage with, and contribute to, the formal economy,” added EcoCash CEO Cuthbert Tembedza.