Zimbabwe's Econet now offers medical cover

Zimbabwe's biggest mobile network Econet now offers medical cover, after venturing into the banking and mobile money space .

The Strive Masiyiwa-founded Zimbabwean telecoms giant has bought a medical cover company from former chairman Tawanda Nyambirai and changed the company's name to Steward Health.

Econet controls Steward Bank, formerly TN Bank, which also holds a banking licence for its mobile money services system EcoCash.

Econet has over 8 million mobile phone subscribers.

"The change in the name to Steward Health is in line with the wider strategy by Econet Wireless to form a financial services business portfolio under the Steward banner, " the company said on Wednesday.

Econet, which has witnessed declining revenues from its voice telephony category, is increasingly looking to value-added services and data to boost its revenues and profitability.

Its rival operator in Zimbabwe, Telecel, recently launched its Telecare insurance cover scheme.

Econet officials have told ITWeb Africa that the company is seeking to capitalise on subscribers who are unhappy with their existing medical cover schemes.

There are six packages under the Steward Health scheme. One of the packages gives subscribers the option to get medical treatment from the Netcare group of hospitals in South Africa.