‘Swipe Into Ecocash’ Now An Inconvenience

Customers who use the “Swipe into Ecocash” service now available in most retail outlets continue to face challenges due to inevitable system failures, such as bounced transactions, double debits from single transactions and delayed confirmation of transactions.

A snap survey by Herald Business in Harare’s major supermarkets revealed that customers complaints over the service are growing with unnamed officials at Pick n Pay Jason Moyo saying that close to $3 000 is lost every other day through Swipe to Ecocash.

By Herald Reporter

In response to the same issue, which was raised by its sister publication Business Weekly last month, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe said transaction errors on its mobile payment platform Ecocash cannot be completely deterred due to inevitable system failures, but errors such as double debits from a single transaction can be rectified in 24 hours. The telecoms services provider said that in the event of failed transactions involving “Swipe into EcoCash using any an ATM card that is not from Econet’s Steward Bank, EcoCash Customer Services’ help desk was responsible for rectifying the error.

However many people are still confused about who they should approach in order to get errors resolved in cases where they undertake transactions and errors occur while swiping into EcoCash using a swiping card that was not issued by Steward Bank.

“Procedure for follow up is to directly call the EcoCash Call Centre (on 114) which then liaises with Steward Bank, the settlement banking partner for validation of payment reversals,” said Econet.

Econet said that the maximum validation time for failed transactions was 24 hours.

Steward Bank CEO Dr Lance Mambondiani admitted that the offering has had a couple of glitches but it largely “depends with the bank you are swiping from. Steward Bank is only at the back end for processing.”

Since the advent of EcoCash, large numbers of consumers across the country have adopted the platform for routine transacting. Retailers in many sectors have had to adjust their own sales entry systems to incorporate the use of the mobile transacting platform; otherwise there is a great risk of losing out on business.

EcoCash has, however, increasingly become susceptible to challenges to its main competitive edge, which is convenience. Consumers have had issues with delayed confirmation of transactions, double debits from single transactions, or bounced transactions altogether.

Mobile operators like Econet said there were challenges of server congestion, network connections, and downtime due to maintenance work on infrastructure that drives mobile platforms.

These are back end issues. For the regular consumer, there is little understanding to comfort the frustration from delayed efficiency and worries about wallet security arise. With greater volume of mobile transactions, there are greater risks of errors through the congestion of servers or programming glitches.

EcoCash is the largest mobile money service in Zimbabwe. Recent industry figures show that 19 in every 20 mobile money customers in Zimbabwe use the service.

This post first appeared in The Herald

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