So after a tortious weekend of absence Zimbabwe’s popular payment method is back up although we had some issues accessing it via USSD where we had to make several attempts and it wasn’t very responsive. The data app, on the other hand, worked just fine.

We hate it and love it at the same time

Honestly, I don’t know how we would be coping without Ecocash when it comes to making peer to peer, bill and merchant payments. The first cash shortages I lived through back in 2005 were a great pain and we were at the mercy of bank tailers if we wanted to make payments. Swipe was still in its infancy and Ecocash didn’t exist.

This upgrade fixed on of the leading annoyances

What changed

However, it’s not all roses when it comes to people’s love of Ecocash. There is a lot to hate about it, hopefully this weekend upgrade fixed some of the kinks. Some issues people have include:

  • Deducted balances that do not reflect on the merchant’s side. This means you have to spend hours in queues as you try to get a refund. The weekend upgrade seems to have countered that by requiring customers to confirm payment after entering their pin. This will ensure that everything went smoothly. Although it’s an annoying extra step.
  • The online payment method is a complete and utter pain. It takes up to 30 seconds to effect payment. It’s so annoying supermarkets have created special point of sales where Ecocash customers are relegated.
  • Ecocash doesn’t come with a ZIMSWITCH card. Instead, it’s linked with every bank differently with each bank charging its own fees.

Hopefully, the upgrade means things will get better.