A two-day crash in Zimbabwe’s mobile money system shows the vulnerabilities of going cashless
By Tawanda Karombo
Although mobile money has become the leading transaction platform in Zimbabwe, its weaknesses came into focus this week after the dominant EcoCash network in Zimbabwe went down for two days, and left many consumer businesses floundering in an already difficult economy.
EcoCash, which competes against smaller platforms run by state controlled telcos NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe, has more than eight million registered users in Zimbabwe and allows for remittances from expat Zimbabweans in South Africa and Botswana.
But in the past few days, the EcoCash platform experienced glitches, which Econet blamed on “scheduled maintenance” of the system that powers the platform, with just about all of the service options under EcoCash down, heavily impacting business transactions in Zimbabwe and adding to the country’s ongoing forex and economic difficulties.
Photo courtesy of Simon Berry.