Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
MOBILE money platform operator EcoCash has introduced a foreign currency account (FCA) wallet facility to promote preservation of value in line with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s measures to ring fence forex earnings.
The FCA digital wallet will appear alongside its existing wallet as an option on the EcoCash menu and comes in the wake of the recent introduction of foreign currency or Nostro accounts by Government.
In a statement following the launch of the FCA wallet on Wednesday night, Econet subsidiary, Cassava Smartech’s chief executive officer, Mr Eddie Chibi, said the introduction of the FCA wallet provides opportunity for customers to preserve value and enjoy convenience.
“The introduction of the EcoCash FCA wallet allows our customers and all foreign exchange earners the convenience to ring-fence their funds in a digital FCA wallet while guaranteeing that they can transact or cash out the funds in the currency they cashed in, or transferred into the wallet,” said Mr Chibi.
He said all foreign currency transactions on the EcoCash FCA wallet would be exempt from the newly introduced 2c Intermediated Money Transfer Tax.
“All EcoCash foreign currency transactions will not attract the new transaction tax, presenting both individual and corporate customers a real opportunity for value protection and preservation,” said Mr Chibi.
Cassava SmarTech plans to list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in what will be the largest transaction in the history of the ZSE.
“We continuously explore ways and means to offer our customers products and services that make a meaningful impact in their lives, their businesses and their enterprises and the introduction of the EcoCash FCA wallet is no exception,” said Mr Chibi.
Mr Chibi said Cassava would endeavour to keep driving digital currency adoption in Zimbabwe by offering its customers a robust service, which combines ease of use, high security levels, great accessibility and choice.
“Today, our valued customers will now be able to choose to use and switch between the RTGS Nostro wallet and the tax-free FCA Nostro wallet to conduct their personal and business transactions,” he said.
EcoCash chief executive officer, Ms Natalie Jabangwe, said the EcoCash FCA wallet would allow customers to preserve their foreign currency earnings in a convenient, safe and secure way.
Ms Jabangwe said the service would be immediately available to all EcoCash subscribers without the need to re-register.
She said all proceeds from international remittances would be automatically preserved in the foreign currency wallet.
Ms Jabangwe said the EcoCash FCA wallet service would be linked to the EcoCash debit card thereby making it easy for EcoCash customers to transact outside Zimbabwe.
She said customers would be able to cash in funds from the FCA wallet at any Econet shop and at Steward Bank branches.
Ms Jabangwe said foreign currency salary payments could also be paid directly into employees’ EcoCash FCA wallets.