In the past few months, there have been lots of developments in the financial sector. We have witnessed lots of upheavals, especially to do with EcoCash and mobile money. We also saw the re-legalization of foreign currency as legal tender. With that and more, it suffices to say that it has been quite eventful. In this article, I will look at the recently introduced ZIPIT Smart. ZimSwitch recently unveiled what they are dubbing ZIPT Smart. The platform essentially makes it possible and easier for people to make payments using ZIPIT. This means that people will be able to instantly make payments using ZIPIT just like how you make payments using EcoCash or One Money.

ZIPIT Smart – An Overview

The framework entails merchants signing up with ZIPIT Smart. Once they have accounts then they can accept ZIPIT payments from customers. When customers pay they will use the respective merchants’ merchant codes. Bear in mind that consumers making payments using ZIPIT is not necessarily new. The way people were doing it is that they were using the respective merchants’ bank account numbers. With ZIPIT Smart it is going to be much more convenient than that. How it works is quite simple and straightforward. Let me get into how it works:

How ZIPIT Smart Works

There are two options that consumers will be able to pick from or alternate between. One, you can use the USSD system way whereby you enter the USSD code of your bank. For instance, if you are a Steward Bank account holder you enter *210#. Once you do that you will find the ZIPIT Smart as one of the options on the menu. Two, you can access the ZIPIT Smart menu through your bank’s mobile app, that is if it has one. Take Note: not all banks have the option on their menus; some are still to have the option. Banks that already have the option on their menus are Agribank, Metbank, CABS, NMB, BancABC, and FBC.

So, once you have picked the ZIPIT Smart option on your bank’s mobile menu, you choose the option regarding paying a merchant. That is when you enter the merchant code of the merchant to whom you want to make a payment. After that, you enter the amount and confirm to complete the transaction.

Implications For EcoCash

Many people are remarking how that this is all meant to squash EcoCash. As you all know, EcoCash daily transactions were limited to just RTGS$5000 per day. Over and above that, EcoCash recently sent its subscribers the following SMSes, the first one was, “Dear Customer. It is now a regulatory requirement for each customer to have one EcoCash line. We will soon request you to choose the line you need to keep”. The second one was “Dear Customer. To choose the EcoCash line you want to keep, simply dial *150# and go to option 5. Select the number you want to keep and press 1 to confirm.”

When you look at the culmination of all that you can see that it is meant to limit the transactional power of the EcoCash platform. Agent lines have also been rendered useless over and above the outrageous limits that had already been enacted. Over and above that, money changing using EcoCash has been greatly reduced.

If you are to look at the exchange rates they have been largely stable for quite a while now. It seems as if the numerous measures that have been put in place in the past few months have brought about stability to exchange rates. Chief amongst them is the reduction of money supply reduction which has little to do with transacting. I do know that this is all debatable as some have mixed feelings about these developments. Kindly share your comments below. Do you think that all these developments from the past months plus the ZIPIT Smart will continue to maintain stable exchange rates? Let us know in the comments below.

ZIPIT Smart is a step in the right direction. The fact that bank account holders can access the menu using either USSD codes or their mobile bank apps is quite good. This enables both those with internet access (and smartphones) and those without to enjoy the convenience of ZIPIT Smart. We still wait to see how sooner or later other banks will have the ZIPIT Smart option on their menus.