- August 26, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
Cash shortages have now made ecocash a fertile ground for ripping off Miners and Zimbabweans in general seeking hard cash for different uses.
Ecocash Agents are now charging an illegal fee of as much as 40% to people in need of hard currency as banks are always dry of hard cash. With no alternative solution in sight from ecocash other than reporting the agent that has ripped you off many have lost hope as currently ecocash seems to be the only place where cash is always readily available but for a hefty price.
The illegal 40% agent fee means if you want for example 100rtgs you transfer a total of 140rtgs whereby the ecocash agent just gives you 100rtgs pockets 40rtgs. This has prompted small businesses and shops to now demand hard cash as ecocash is getting more unattractive.
A simple solution may just be a simple verification sms system whereby whenever a ecocash customer cashes-out econet sends a sms verification where the customer respond by confirming the amount you where given against the money you cashed out.
To avoid the situation whereby the agent will cohese you into lying to the system the sms can be sent an hour or more after the transaction away from the agent.
This may prompt agents tell the person needing the money to collect later and verify in the presence of the agent so to ensure the verification process is not cheated this may just need the system to track the transaction such that it cannot be verified within 1km of where the transaction took place or simply send verification smses at night.
Mining Zimbabwe has spoken to ecocash agents in the Kadoma CBD and they said people who supply them with cash supply it at a fee so they have no choice but to add their own percentage pushing the fee upwards.
Miners work in very remote areas where now due to exorbitant percentages small tuck/shops, suppliers now demand cash leaving the Miner with no choice but get money at an agent nearby charging the ridiculous fee or travel very long distances to get daily supplies.
Whilst the verification system may mean ecocash agents may lower or stop their illegal agent fees and make money more difficult to find but for the sake of sanity in Zimbabwe this maybe be a necessary move to crack down this unscrupulous predatory behavior.
Ecocash Largest mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service, has reportedly shut down over 1000 Agent lines over the past three months a move that clearly has not fased active agents.
Zimbabweans affected by this shame practice are people looking for kombi fares or simply people who want to buy goods/equipment or services where now only cash is accepted. The government however has promised to bring in more cash to ease cash shortages that have been rocking the country for years.