Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has set up banking booths in rural areas to allow people to conduct financial transactions.
Pensioners can now access their funds through the programme, thanks to a collaboration between the country’s largest operator and the government’s National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
The company says the initiative will reduce the need for underserved individuals of the community to travel long distances to urban areas for such services.
The booths, where people would transact using the EcoCash platform, are also expected to help the mobile provider increase its market share.
Econet public relations manager, Fungayi Mandiveyi, stated in an interview with ITWeb Africa on Wednesday, that they have joined with NSSA to ensure seniors receive their monthly allowances on their doorsteps.
Previously, retired workers were required to go to urban areas to access their money, which was in the region of US$60.
In a country where inflation has been rampant, most seniors have been left with nothing because a big portion of their pension was spent on transportation.
“I’m pleased to confirm that we (Econet) have collaborated with NSSA to allow pensioners to access their dues on EcoCash,” Mandiveyi told ITWeb Africa.
“This has helped a lot because some of them (pensioners) were losing money on transport alone.”
Evermore Mugodhi, a pensioner from Ruwa, 22 km southeast of Harare, used to travel to the city but now withdraws money 500 metres from her home.
“We are happy that NSSA and Econet came up with this arrangement because now I can access my money here and use it without factoring in transport costs,” she went on to say.
Ernest Muvanduri is one of many young people who have benefited from work since the booths opened.
“I was running my business under the tree the whole time. These booths are revolutionary. They’re just like banks,” he remarked.
“People come here to deposit or withdraw money in the same way they would in any other bank. The biggest benefit of this method is that we are right on our customers’ doorsteps,” Muvandiri explained.
Econet has 15 530 merchants in Zimbabwe, the majority of them are fully equipped with traditional booths.