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EcoCash looks to capitalise on Zim banks, Paynet dispute

EcoCash looks to capitalise on Zim banks, Paynet dispute

Zimbabwe's mobile money service EcoCash is eyeing an opportunity as companies remain affected by a dispute between local banks and Mauritian company, Paynet.

Paynet also provides an encrypted salary payment service. The dispute is understood to be focused on payment for Paynet services in foreign currency by banks, which has affected salary remuneration for pensioners and employees of other companies.

Paynet and EcoCash have partnered to enable companies to pay salaries using the EcoCash mobile money platform.

This also presents EcoCash with an opportunity to expand into the salary payments category and broaden its revenue stream.

"Paynet and EcoCash have announced an introductory offer to provide Paynet's ... salary payment services," the two companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The service will be on a promotional free offering until the beginning of August this year, thereafter it will be offered at a fee.

"Employees will be able to immediately fund their linked bank accounts. Paynet urges regulators and consumers to carefully review the indemnities required to use alternative services."

Paynet said last week that the system it uses to power the salary payment services in Zimbabwe is owned by Payserv Africa, which is owed about US$2.5-million in unpaid service fees by local finance institutions.

"Banks have run up a tab for another $470,000 since the beginning of May knowing they would be charged in USD, yet deliberately continuing to use the system while conspiring to replace us - by using other external vendors," said Paynet in a statement.

The availability of foreign currency remains a challenge for Zimbabwean companies. Telecom operators and other tech companies have been adversely affected as they have to pay vendors, equipment and other service providers in foreign currency which is in short supply.

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