Zimbabwe in our uniqueness saw the rise of mobile money, something that hasn’t enjoyed much success in the rest of the world. Initially, Ecocash was just good for sending money to loved ones in the quickest and possibly most secure way. Now it has graduated to an easy way of paying bills, buying products locally and buying online. Like all good things, we have to play our part. Here are 4 things you are possibly doing wrong on Ecocash:
- Paying the agent 10% (or ANY percentage) for your Cash – out. Look, I know that hard cash has become quite the Pangolin in Zimbabwe these days which has opened us up to exploitation. I’m sure some of you have tried to cash out at an agent and they have told you they don’t have cash until they mention a premium. What is happening is agents are charging people extra for cash outs because cash is hard to come by. For example, you want to cash out $100 dollars and the agent asks you to cash out $110 and they will give you the $100. This is wrong! Ecocash agents already get a commission for each of the transactions they do. When you pay this premium it means you have been charged transaction charges as well as this premium. If you happen to come across an agent who asks you to pay a premium for YOUR money, take note of their agent code and report it to an Econet shop or to their 114 or 111 call centre numbers. If you cant get through to the call centre, the Ecocash and Ecocash Facebook/Twitter pages are quite responsive. Agents who do this are actually at risk of losing their agent lines because Econet doesn’t want us the customers to be exploited.If we don’t do this we will just keep our economy out of reach in terms of recovery by giving people money for nothing. We can’t continue to build a dependency on this really warped sense of doing business. UPDATE: Ecocash Zimbabwe has gone on to reiterate this on their social media this week with tweets like this one
Dear valued customer.DON’T PAY outside the approved prices for CASH OUT. It’s illegal for EcoCash agents to charge extra. pic.twitter.com/MkMltsdWrV
— EcoCash Zimbabwe (@EcoCashZW) September 16, 2017
- Cash – In Without a Phone. I’m sure once or twice in your life you have gotten to an Ecocash agent only to realize that you left your phone at home or in the car. Or maybe you have visited an Ecocash agent and tried to get them to Cash indirectly into the account of the person you are sending money to. Yes, This is wrong.
Risk: If you supply the wrong number and the cash in is confirmed without you verifying yourself that could prove to be a dicey situation. What if you deal with an agent who is part of the dark brotherhood and he tells you he cashed in without actually doing so? There is no way to verify as the phone is not there. Lastly, you cannot give the agent the code on the recipient phone which is needed for record-keeping purposes. If anything goes wrong, there is no paper trail on the agent side.
- Cash – Out Without an ID. I know you probably think it’s ridiculous that the agent always wants you to pull out your ID for Ecocash cashouts. I mean where has the convenience gone right? Wrong! Look, if any person with a phone and the PIN can get money out of an Ecocash account then we are all at risk. It means that guy leaning over your shoulder to see your pin in the supermarket can very well take your phone and get your money from an agent and not leave a paper trail. At least if your phone is stolen by someone who has seen your PIN the only option they have is to send it to another number and that is a paper trail that can be used in an investigation.
- Getting Agent to help you with (PIN). Ecocash is a safe platform for use. You have your PIN, your ID is always required and it’s the one thing most of us love: our phones. Every so often in that cash-out, I’m sure you have seen that one mature lady or gentleman who hands their phone to an Ecocash agent and asks them to do everything and even lets them know the PIN. I always cringe when this happens. I’m sure Econet requires that the people who become agents are upstanding citizens who would never harm their clientele but they can only have so much control. At the end of the day, we are all human. You never know what another person who has your PIN and has seen how much you have in your account because you gave them access will do. If in that same period they are ‘helping’ they decide to send themselves a portion of your hard earned money and delete the messages imagine how long it would take you to know what happened. Your mind would probably start at “ndabirwa neEconet” or “Ecosure yatanga.”
Right now is not an easy time for a lot of people financially. Let’s all try to be as secure with our funds as possible. It can start with these three probably seemingly small things. Ecocash has become that platform we use for so many things. It is as much up to us as it is up to Econet to keep it safe for us. If you have other things you know that are being done wrong by people on Ecocash let’s share them. You never know who you can help.