Zimbabwe: Sex Workers Switch to Mobile Payment Systems
Monday, March 23, 2015
Sex workers in Harare are now demanding that clients pay for services through mobile platforms to avoid being duped with most now moving around with at least two mobile phones to facilitate transactions.
Mobile payment technology was introduced as Zimbabwe struggled with liquidity after ditching the local dollar for foreign currencies in 2009 with the Econet Wireless-owned EcoCash now the dominant service.
Econet’s rivals Telecel and NetOne have also launched rival platforms in TeleCash and OneWallet respectively.
And, tired of losing out to “unscrupulous” clients, some sex workers in the capital are now insisting on mobile money, it has emerged.
Clients have to pay through their mobile phones before “business”.
Those who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com at some city night spots said mobile payments protect them from thieves and corrupt police officers who demand bribes during raids.
Most said they now carry with them at least two cell-phone lines from different service providers to enable the transactions.
“Some clients would pay you before you offer them sexual services and then after we finish they violently demand their money back,” said one Shamie who operates at a popular night spot at Greencroft Shopping Centre.