At the introduction of ZIPIT smart doomsdayers were writing the eulogy of Ecocash and already engraving its tombstone. Fast forward nearly two months later and ZIPIT smart can best be described as a damp squib. As we have become accustomed to in Zimbabwe the idea was great but the implementation left a lot to be desired. Well ZIPIT smart has announced a transact and win promotion which is vague at best to boost its usage.

Transact and Win

No detail was given on the workings of the promotion on outlets, what is known at present is that it will be some sort of rewards promotion and you would be correct to think you’ve heard this all before, from Ecocash however. They launched their own transact and win program which has had its own problems which we shall speak of later. While I’m sure the promotion is meant to inspire confidence it does little to address the real challenges that ZIPIT smart users are facing. Also launching a vague promotion is never a good sign.

ZIPIT smart teething problems

In the history of business, one thing that is continually underestimated is the investment that existing businesses have made in the markets and how much effort it takes. ZIPIT smart was supposed to spell the end of Ecocash however the biggest sticking point has been that only a few banks are available on the platform. Ecocash despite its sour relationship with banks is connected to most if not all banks in addition to accommodating the unbanked. What the team at ZIPIT smart should be working on is getting more banks involved. That is not to say the promotion is a bad idea. Adding cup holders to a car improves the user experience but is best done where the car has all the necessary parts like wheels and an engine.

Ecocash Rewards Program

Ecocash’s own rewards program has not been a smooth ride either. They do however have the not so small advantage of being the default transacting method in the nation since cash shortages started gripping the nation roughly 5 years ago. We’ve spoken at times about Ecocash and related entities tend to rush for launches without offering much detail. Well, this rewards program was announced as something great with millions worth in prizes available but it turns out the points are automatically redeemed for cash balances. This is not the best promotion strategy but communication would’ve made it better as people would understand what they are in for. Instead, people got to find out later. After much furore and complaining on social media and off it. Ecocash needs no additional help in upsetting its customers but it seems they will get away with things like this for so long as there is no competition.

We shall have to see how well the ZIPIT smart promotion will be handled and how far it goes towards inspiring both confidence and transacting. What we know for now is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.