EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe Limited (EHZL), the country’s leading digital and fintech group has, in its financial results for the half year ended August 31, 2023, recorded a 40% jump in revenues to ZW$218 billion, driven by product innovation and growth in US dollar sales.
The group attributed the growth to strong performance across all its business segments, led by the fintech businesses contributing 76% of revenue, followed by insurtech at 20%, and digital platforms at 4%.
“The Fintech business, namely EcoCash and Steward Bank, remains the largest contributor with performance being driven by new product innovations, and growth in the forex revenue contribution, a result of the deliberate growth in the USD business,” said Sherree Shereni, the EcoCash Holdings Board Chairperson.
EHZL reported a net profit of $130 million for the period, from a loss position of $1.7 billion in the comparable period last year. The company said the clearance of the its legacy debt through the recent resolution of its US$30.3 million debentures through a renounceable rights offer had strengthened its financial position.
“The debentures were resolved by way of capital raised through a renounceable rights offer, and as a result we anticipate improved profitability going forward,” said Mrs Shereni.
EHZL made significant strides in the period under review expanding its reach and enhancing its product offerings across all business segments. In the mobile money sector, the company expanded its network of merchants accepting EcoCash payments, providing greater convenience for customers. Additionally, the relaunch of the EcoCash Express Debit Card further empowered customers to transact seamlessly both online and offline.
The new products and services, Mrs Shereni said, have been well-received by customers and have contributed to the transition of the business from a payments business to a digital financial services platform provider.
In the six months to August, Steward Bank launched Steward Pay, an online payment gateway that facilitates the processing of local and international payments online via VISA, Mastercard, EcoCash and Steward Bank Accounts.
The country’s largest bank by depositors also launched the account opening platform, Q-Not, in April. A first in the market, the account opening portal allows customers to open an individual account online.
The group’s Insurtech businesses invested in enhanced technologies aimed at further improving service delivery, operational efficiencies and reducing claim turnaround times.
To increase access to financial services, the short-term insurance business, Moovah, has improved digital access and convenience through an online payment gateway as well as expanding its distribution footprint through new partnerships and more service locations, which will enhance the customer experience and access to services.
EHZL’s digital platforms business has continued to drive innovation, particularly in the areas of healthtech and on-demand services. The first half of the year saw the launch of Internet-of-Things (IoT)-enabled smart solutions, including Asset Track and Fuel Monitoring, which provide businesses and individuals with valuable usage insights, remote-control capabilities and improved efficiencies.
“Our investments in digital transformation and product innovation are paying off,” said Mr Shereni. “We are committed to delivering seamless, secure, and convenient financial services that meet the evolving needs of our customers.” – Herald