HARARE – Zimbabwe’s leading digital funds transfer platform, EcoCash has moved over $78 billion in transactions since its launch in 2011, demonstrating the high demand for its services in an increasing digitalising market, according to financial results released by its parent, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Limited (CSZL) on Monday.

Cassava’s results covered its first four months of operation since demerger from mobile telecoms giant, Econet in November.

It was subsequently separately listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in December 2018.

Chairperson, Trace Mpofu said the group was leveraging on a strong foundation built by Econet to develop a full range of technology-based products that eases the lives of Zimbabweans.

“To date we have processed more than ZWL$78.4 billion in value since the introduction of our flagship product, EcoCash,” Mpofu said in Cassava’s financial results for the four months to February.

“This is one demonstration of the extent to which our technology solutions are making the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans easier. CSZL continues to develop broad based, diversified sources of income in mobile money, transactional banking, Insurtech, Healthtech, On-Demand Services and Agritech which provide a solid base for sustainable, long-term growth of our business,” she said.

But it is the huge numbers that EcoCash is moving in Zimbabwe since 2011 that easily shows how the business has become a cornerstone of consumers.

There has been a serious scarcity of notes and coins in the country, which has been going through its worst crisis since 2009.

During the review period, 9.8 million individuals were using the Cassava mobile money platform to transact, representing almost 90 percent of Zimbabwe’s adult population.

Cassava said Steward Bank, the robustly growing banking services unit of the firm, now boasts 1.3 million bank accounts, representing 37 percent of Zimbabwe’s banked population.

About 2.6 million individuals subscribed to its micro-insurance packages during the period.

“The group is focused on driving the financial inclusion agenda and increasing access to financial services especially among previously excluded segments,” Mpofu said.

Cassava did not provide prior year comparisons for its financial results.

But it posted $9,2 million profit for the review period, after reporting $173 million revenue.

“We will continue to deploy solutions that are available through multiple channels. The business is on a drive to scale-up and leverage on artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data, block-chain, chatbots and social media banking and payments to reduce operational costs and improve customer experience,” said Mpofu.

“We believe there are opportunities for growth, in spite of the current macro-economic challenges and will, therefore, continue to make a concerted effort to turn these challenges into success stories,” she noted.

Cassava is part of an aggressively expanding business empire with interests in a variety of sectors under the stewardship of billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Wireless.