HumanIPO reported yesterday Econet Wireless’ EcoCash platform had seen a 242 per cent growth in its agency network over the past 12 months and subscribers for EcoCash had increased by 62 per cent to 2.1 million.
Duncan Arthur, an independent payments, mobile and African banking professional, said while he hoped this was the start of a true success story for Zimbabwe the real proof will be in the next set of figures to be reported in six months time.
Speaking to HumanIPO, Arthur said: “It's one thing to grow fast and a lot of models do just that by effectively buying the customer through a promotion or incentivising the agent to sign up as many as he can in return for a commission.
“The translation of signed-up customers to active users is where the real test is.”
Arthur also said there is a common feeling among industry onlookers that a large proportion of mobile money transfers in Zimbabwe typically come from South Africa, which he said makes it hard to compare to the Kenyan M-Pesa system.
He added: “What I'm not seeing are other offerings reporting that they are bleeding clients, revenue or agents significantly above the normal rate of churn.
Econet seem to have half the recipe right in an apparent expanding and enthusiastic agent network.”