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Econet Wireless, Western Union in partnership

Tinashe Nhari Business Reporter ECONET Wireless has struck a partnership with the world’s largest money transfer company, Western Union, i...

Tinashe Nhari Business Reporter
ECONET Wireless has struck a partnership with the world’s largest money transfer company, Western Union, in a development that will enable Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to send money back home from over 200 territories.

Econet subscribers can now receive, on their phones, Western Union transactions initiated at western union’s transactional websites in 23 countries or the money transfer company’s agents locations around the world.

Customers can receive funds direct to their mobile phones or receive a code they can use to cash out or deposit cash into the mobile wallet.

EcoCash, which was launched in 2011, currently has 4 million subscribers and an expansive network of 15 000 agent points. Econet says about 43 percent of Zimbabwe’s annual GDP moves through the service.

Ecocash head of business and market development Ms Natalie Jabangwe said that Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora were now able to send money from an additional 200 territories across the world.

Ms Jabangwe said that the service was convenient, fast and reliable. The service was available “throughout the day and throughout the year”. They will not be additional costs for sending or receiving money.

The comes after Econet and World Remit in July announced launched a partnership to use Ecocash as an option for money transfer recipients in Zimbabwe.

“We want to continue to be the tool that facilitates financial remittances from the Diaspora,” Ms Jabangwe said at the launch yesterday. She said this was in line with the thrust of the Reserve Bank.
Econet Wireless, Western Union in partnership
This comes at a critical stage for Zimbabwe, with the Reserve Bank earlier this year declaring it was exploring more facilities to effectively harness Diaspora savings for the development of the domestic economy.

Zimbabweans, skilled and non-skilled Diasporans mainly in South Africa, UK, Canada, Australia and US regularly send money back home to sustain their families.

While $1,8 billion was sent through formal channels, a large amount was sent through the informal channels

Western Union regional vice president for Southern and East Africa Mr Richard Malcom said the Diaspora money transfer service will stimulate local economic growth and help people meet basic human needs.

“It will stimulate local development and growth through the demand for services,” he said. Mr Malcom said that Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora made use of mobile money transfer services to send money home.

“When we opened money transfer service in Lesotho for the first time in 2011, of course people had been sending money from places like US and UK, but the first person to come was a Zimbabwean,” he said.

He said Econet Wireless was one of the prominent institutions in improving financial inclusion while Western Union had been offering fast.

“Western Union and Econet Wireless money transfer service will allow Zimbabweans across territories to have access to fast and secure service to send money to their loved ones to facilitate economic growth.

“Whether it’s for an individual, a family or a small business, sending or receiving money across global and national borders; reliably, conveniently; making payments for goods and services in today’s world, are basic requirements for economic development and financial inclusion.”

Western Union offers a fast, reliable and convenient way to send and receive money through traditional, online and mobile channels globally.

Its services are available through a combined network of nearly 500 000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
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