Golden Sibanda, Business Reporter
ECONET Wireless will carry out scheduled maintenance work on its mobile money transfer platform EcoCash over the weekend to optimise the system ahead of increased transaction volumes anticipated in the coming months.
The company said that it will carry out the scheduled maintenance works on the mobile money transfer platform from 10pm today, August 12, 2017, up to 2pm tomorrow.
Econet said maintenance programme comes as the country’s cash challenges have persisted, with the volume of EcoCash and electronic bank transactions increasing by close to 80 percent over the past 18 months.
Group chief executive officer, Douglas Mboweni, said the scheduled maintenance work would optimise the EcoCash platform to handle increased volumes of transactions in the coming months in light of widespread use of fintech (finance and technology) services and ahead of the busy festive season.
“This is scheduled work we are carrying out on the EcoCash platform. Apart from the EcoCash system, we routinely carry out maintenance and upgrade work on our various network platforms to ensure optimal, robust performance and to guarantee career-grade stability on our platforms,” Mr Mboweni said.
EcoCash general manager, Natalie Jabangwe, corroborated the group CEO’s statement, saying the maintenance work would position the platform to handle more customers and more transactions going forward.
“The system optimisation is meant to enhance the system’s performance and improve the customer experience”, said Mrs Jabangwe, adding that the decision to carry out the maintenance work was made months back, and that the company had settled for the weekend of a public holiday to minimise any inconveniences the maintenance work might cause to both the company’s business and its customers.
“The timing is all to do with trying to minimise any disruption this vital work might cause to our valued customers, merchants and business partners,” said Mrs Jabangwe, who reiterated that the maintenance work would last for a maximum 16 hours, between tonight and tomorrow afternoon.
EcoCash is the largest mobile money transacting platform among Zimbabwe’s three mobile operators (Econet, NetOne and Telecel) and is connected to 10 banks in the country.
Its volume of transactions has grown rapidly over the past two years, to over $23 billion cumulatively, on the back of liquidity challenges in Zimbabwe and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s deliberate drive to promote electronic transactions to ease the situation and also achieve financial inclusion among the unbanked.
Ahead of the maintenance work, Mrs Jabangwe called on EcoCash users to carry out any urgent transactions they need to make before the set time to avoid any inconvenience.
“We are encouraging our customers to make any critical transactions, such as paying for their electricity token, airtime, buying fuel, groceries and so forth before Saturday night,” she said.