Why Zimbabwe’s EcoCash disabled international payments


About 5000 users of the EcoCash mobile money debit card in Zimbabwe will be unable to perform international payments and transactions on their cards owing to shortage of foreign currency as cited by the authorities, Econet Wireless.

The EcoCash is a MasterCard-linked mobile money debit card.

“Dear valued customer, Please be advised that international transactions on the Debit Card have been suspended with immediate effect. We apologize for the inconvenience caused,”
Econet informed EcoCash users of the transaction policy change via text message.

The change was “due to the prevailing foreign currency shortages”.

It said that from November 1, its debit card holders will be able to continue using their EcoCash cards outside Zimbabwe, after “pre-funding your card at your nearest Econet shop”.

The card remains in use within Zimbabwe, the company said.

Cash and forex challenges are worsening by the day in Zimbabwe, Fin24 reports. The government has criticised unnecessary spending, saying foreign currency should be used for key imports such as electricity, medicine and raw materials.

The liquidity squeeze has seen banks impose limits on Visa and Mastercard cards. Holders of these cards require approval from their banks to use them abroad.

EcoCash is an innovative mobile payment solution for Econet customers. It allows customers to perform financial transactions, like send money to loved ones, buy prepaid airtime or data for or other Econet subscribers and pay for goods and services, all via a mobile phone.