Econet launches virtual debit card

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

EcoCash Debit CardZimbabwe’s largest mobile phone company, Econet Wireless, has unveiled an innovative functionality on its mobile money service EcoCash which allows a cell phone to also operate as a virtual debit card.

The functionality is a first in the world and in Africa where mobile banking services are expanding as more people use the service to avoid high bank charges. In addition, mobile banking is becoming an attractive option owing to the lack of physical banking infrastructure in one of the world’s fastest growing mobile phone markets with an estimated subscriber base of more than 760-million.

Econet says instead of carrying a plastic card, an EcoCash user can simply “swipe” their cell phone when paying through a credit card terminal.  This means that over 2 million Zimbabweans who are currently users of EcoCash now also have a debit card on their phones, says Econet Wireless Services Chief Executive Darlington Mandivenga.