Zimbabwe News

Econet opens 2 free remittance corridors for Zimbabweans in the diaspora

Econet Wireless has partnered with its sister company, Sasai Money Transfer, to enable Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom and South Africa to send money free of charge to Zimbabwe, starting May 2, 2024.

The receiver at home also cashes out of their EcoCash wallet for free.

International remittances attract a charge of up to 15% for the sender, while the receiver is charged 3% when cashing out.

Currently, international remittances attract a charge of up to 15% for the sender and 3% for the receiver.

South Africa and the UK are the two largest sources of remittances to Zimbabwe and host the largest populations of Zimbabweans in the diaspora.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe CEO Douglas Mboweni said that the move to drop charges is meant to ease the impact of drought on people receiving remittances.

The Government of Zimbabwe recently declared a national disaster in response to a drought caused by the weather event known as El Niño, which has left more than 2.7 million people in need of food aid. Said Mboweni:

We hope Zimbabweans in the Diaspora will use the savings to send more money home to their families.

The majority of remittances to Zimbabwe are conducted through these two main corridors (the UK and South Africa).

We do not have to pay any third parties on those corridors because we rely on a sister company in the group, which agreed to help out.

The Econet CEO challenged other companies in the remittances space to take Econet’s lead and cut their fees.

He said it is time remittances into Africa were brought down “to assist with the continent’s economic development agenda”.

Mboweni said the initiative supported government efforts to increase diaspora remittances coming into the country through formal channels.

Zimbabweans in the diaspora last year sent home US$1.87 billion through official channels, 16% more than they did in 2022.

Econet will rely on its EcoCash agent network, which gives it extensive reach, including in rural areas.

Econet said Remittance transfers will be facilitated through the EcoCash US dollar wallet, accessible by dialling *153# on an EcoCash registered Econet line.

Senders in the UK and South Africa can access Sasai Money Transfer by downloading the Sasai Money Transfer App on the Google Play Store and the App Store.

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