Econet’s mobile money service thrives while Telecel’s dives

25 Sep 2012

The Zimbabwean mobile operator Telecel has confirmed that it has shut down its mobile money service Skwama. The service was introduced in January 2011 but failed to take off, and the operator has revealed to local news portal Techzim that it decided to let Skwama ‘die a natural death’. Meanwhile, rival operator Econet Wireless says its own mobile payment service EcoCash now has over a million users, making the cellco one of the country’s largest banking service providers. EcoCash is said to be particularly popular with poorer users who often do not have access to conventional bank accounts. Econet is the largest mobile operator in Zimbabwe, with 6.8 million subscribers and a 64% market share at the end of June according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Telecel claimed just over two million users at the same date, while third-placed operator NetOne had attracted around 1.7 million.