Awarded in ‘Mobile Service’ category for empowering low income, unbanked population in Zimbabwe
New Delhi – November 24, 2014:Mahindra Comviva, the global leader in providing mobility solutions received top honor at the prestigious Meffys 2014 Awards at a ceremony held recently in San Francisco.
Econet’s EcoCash$ave powered by mobiquity® Money was awarded in the Mobile Service category for effectively promoting financial inclusion among low income, under banked Zimbabweans.
Econet’s EcoCash$ave is an easy to use micro-savings product targeted at 3.8 million EcoCash customers. Zimbabwe has a national saving rate of 7%, one of the lowest in Africa. Underdeveloped financial infrastructure, high costs to maintain a bank account and unpredictable income streams render it unviable for low-income segments to open savings accounts. By launching a simple to operate and economical savings products where customers can maintain a balance as low as USD1, EcoCash$ave has managed to capture an untapped source of funds.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Srinivas Nidugondi, Senior VP and Head Mobile Financial Solutions, Mahindra Comviva said, “Mobile money offers significant new revenue streams for MNOs. Operators are rapidly expanding beyond basic person to person payments to extend a range of banking services which would improve profitability. EcoCash$ave is an example of useful innovation which has helped deepen financial inclusion whilst substantively uplifting revenues. We are extremely honored to be recognized by established and coveted global awards such as the Meffys awards.”
Speaking on the occasion Japhet Aritho, Chief Operating Officer, EcoCash said “Econet’s EcoCash$ave addresses an institutional deficit by extending an accessible, affordable savings instrument to unbanked consumers. For Econet the savings offering has helped differentiate the product, strengthened customer affinity with the product brand, unlocking new avenues of growth. We are extremely proud of EcoCash$ave’s success and view it as a foundational service to introduce relevant wealth creation products for low-income Zimbabweans.”
EcoCash launched EcoCash$ave to address latent demand for an affordable savings product and to improve cash inflows into the network. Customers can deposit as low as US$1 and earn 4 per cent annual interest. There is no limit on the frequency of withdrawals and no fee on deposits. Currently 1.5M customers have opened an EcoCash$ave account, outnumbering the total depositors, 900,000, in all commercial banks.
Formal saving mechanisms in Zimbabwe are expensive as customers need to maintain USD 100 as a minimum balance to operate a bank account. With 72.3% of the population (9.9 million people) earning US$ 3.5 per day, opening a savings account can erode 6 months of savings. Consequently customers prefer to use informal savings instruments.
mobiquity® Money delivers a range of mobile money products extending means to customers to save, borrow, transfer and transact. Apart from delivering convenience to consumers, the solution enables financial service providers to acquire new customers, create long-term loyalty with existing ones, and seize new revenue opportunities to expand their market footprint. mobiquity® Money has more than 50 deployments in about 40 countries enabling over 35 million registered customers to transact approximately USD 13.5 billion transactions annually.
This year, the Meffys recorded 250 entries from 30 countries across 13 award categories. The jury comprises of industry veterans from the field of Journalism, Analytics, Academics and VCs who carefully examine and evaluate each entry in order to reach their final selection. New categories for 2014 include mHealth, Mobile Education and Big Data demonstrating the diversity of mobile content and commerce landscape as it continues to expand across new market sectors in both developing and developed markets.
About Mahindra Comviva
Mahindra Comviva is the global leader in providing mobility solutions. It is a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra and a part of the USD 16.5 billion Mahindra Group. With an extensive portfolio spanning mobile finance, content, infotainment, messaging and mobile data solutions, Mahindra Comviva enables service providers to enhance customer experience, rationalize costs and accelerate revenue growth. Its mobility solutions are deployed by over 130 mobile service providers and financial institutions in over 90 countries, transforming the lives of over a billion people across the world. For more information, please visit http://www.mahindracomviva.com/olddata
About Econet Wireless
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is a subsidiary of the Econet Wireless Group, headquartered in South Africa. It is Zimbabwe’s largest provider of telecommunications services, providing solutions in mobile and fixed wireless telephony, internet access, mobile money transfer and payment solutions. Econet launched its network on the 10th of July 1998 and listed on 17th September 1998. It is one of the largest companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in terms of market capitalisation. Econet holds over 65% share of the Zimbabwe mobile market, with over 9-million customers. Find Econet Wireless Zimbabwe at www.econet.co.zw. For more info on Econet Wireless Group, visit www.econetwireless.com
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