EcoCash suspends 4 000 agents

Source: EcoCash suspends 4 000 agents | The Herald September 19, 2019

EcoCash suspends 4 000 agents

Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter

The country’s largest payment platform, EcoCash, has suspended over 4 000 of its agents on allegations of participating in the now rampant trend of charging excessive premiums for customers intending to cash on their mobile money.

EcoCash, one of Econet’s biggest business units, moves billions of transactions annually through its over 50 000 agents dotted throughout the country.

The announcement came barely a day after The Herald published a story in which ordinary citizens, and economic experts expressed disdain over the cost of cashing out on plastic money that has effectively eroded people’s earnings.

A survey carried out by this paper shows that EcoCash agents are charging a premium of up to 55 percent to customers in need of cash that is mainly in coins.

Cash barons

But in a statement released yesterday, the mobile payment solution service provider said it doesn’t condone such practice that has seen the birth of cash barons who are profiteering from their access to cash.

“EcoCash advises all its agents that it does not condone any illicit activities by agents,” said EcoCash in a statement.

“We have consistently maintained this position in our various communication directly to all agents through the various forums we hold across the country.

“Any agent charging above the authorised commission levels will be charged accordingly.

“We have so far suspended over 4 000 agents and will not hesitate to act accordingly on any reported cases of charging above authorised commission levels outside the EcoCash platform,” reads the  statement.

The move by EcoCash to rid itself of unscrupulous agents also comes in light of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) having started investigating EcoCash agents partaking in the illicit practice.

Earlier, the National Business Council of Zimbabwe (NBCZ) president Mr Langton Mabhanga, had told The Herald that there was need for monetary authorities to impose punitive measures on errant EcoCash agents.

Mr Mabhanga had also said it was not his view that the solution to the problem was in increasing cash in circulation.

“These premiums on cash are fuelling inflation and causing untold suffering to ordinary persons.

Plastic money

“There is need to protect ordinary workers who have watched helplessly as their salaries are being eroded,” said Mr Mabhanga.

“In Rwanda, we have a replica of EcoCash and you will notice that majority of transactions are through plastic money.

“What is lacking is supervision instruments that in my view have failed.

“There is need for an audit of these EcoCash agencies,” he said.

The illicit practice by the country’s largest payment platform has become the biggest threat to Government’s push for people to migrate from using hard cash to electronic payment systems as the later has been rendered too expensive.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • comment-avatar
    r chokupa 2 years ago

    if ecocash says it condone such things so were are there agents getting the money if them selves are not funding them

  • comment-avatar
    SHUMBA 2 years ago

    all of the 50 000 registerd agents are involved in these activities were are they getting money if steward bank itself is failing to give them money in cash meaning they are buying the money probably from the same bank they belong to they know whats happening should just close cash in and out and leave the payment option its sad that masiyiwa has braught this thing which has caused the suffering of the majority and benefiting him only and these agents and then you say i belong to God which God ARE YOU TALKING OF APA ITAI MABASA ANORATIDZA HUMWARI .