June 22 2017 ‑ ECONET Wireless’s mobile money transfer platform, Ecocash, in partnership with the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara), has introduced a new payment method where tollgates will be directly linked with customers Ecocash wallets.
The new arrangement, is meant to circumvent the country’s cash problems, linking all Ecocash registered customers’s cars with their mobile money wallets and loading their Ecocash toll wallets in advance, in only 10 seconds
“We have tirelessly worked on this world-class innovation, following suit to developed countries, where tollgate payments are pre-planned and pre-paid to provide auto access. The state-of-the-art value proposition is not the ordinary pay merchant, but a specific solution unique to Zinara, which allows users to link a mobile phone wallet with a registered vehicle for auto-detection and instant access at the tollgate,” says Ecocash general manager Natalie Jabangwe-Morris.
Jambgwe -Morris says this has been done to support the government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s efforts in ensuring financial inclusion by providing ease of transacting for all citizens everywhere.
“The auto-detection of the pre-loaded toll wallet at toll gate offers complete disruption to the manual payment method of cash and cards, saving motorists queuing time, with a payment experience in under 10 seconds, granting express toll access to motorists.”
Once a customer’s Zinara tollgate account is loaded, they only need to provide their mobile number to the cashier at the tollgate and the payment will be automatically deducted from the customer’s tollgate pre-paid account sitting on EcoCash.
In a statement, Econet Wireless said it believed the new service would “help travelling motorists to experience the convenience” of using EcoCash, while providing Zinara with “a safe, secure and convenient revenue collection method”.
“With EcoCash, we continue to give our customers the security, convenience, affordability and acceptability of mobile money payments to buy almost everything from groceries, furniture and fuel to vegetables at the markets,” the mobile network operator said.
“The partnership with Zinara is strategic for us, as we continuously work at finding solutions for our customers in line with the cashless payments adoption vision.”
Econet Wireless described the project as a great example of the power of public private partnerships in providing relevant solutions towards the development of the country.
“We appreciate Zinara for their co-operation and commitment which has seen the deal coming into fruition today,” it said.
The service will initially apply to 17 tollgates around the country, with plans to spread it wider in the future.
Zimbabwe currently has 27 tollgates in total countrywide.
At present, toll gate fees are pegged at $2 for light vehicles and $3 for minibuses, while buses, heavy vehicles and haulage trucks pay $4, $5 and $10 respectively.
Econet Wireless says it has invested over US$1,3 billion into the economy since dollarisation in 2009, while the Ecocash mobile money transfer service is currently used by over 6,8 million Zimbabweans, with over US$23 billion worth of transfers transacted over the past five years. – ANA