EcoCash has launched a mobile wallet for children between 9 and 18 years of age.
EcoCash Holdings chief executive officer Mr Eddie Chibi said only parents and guardians are allowed to register and fund the ‘EcoCash Junior Wallet’ on behalf of children from their wallets. “This way, parents have control of re-setting pins and keep track of transactions made by the child”, he said.
“The idea is to enable children to take charge of their own pocket money and savings with the help of their parents and, in the process, nurture in them financial stewardship and discipline at an early age,” Mr Chibi said at the launch of the new service in Harare.
EcoCash is already compliant with privacy-protection laws related to children and minors, and with general data-protection regulations. These certifications ensure children and adults can safely and securely participate in the digital economy.
Mr Chibi said with the EcoCash Junior Wallet, teens and younger children can use the wallet to purchase goods online and in-store, buy airtime, as well as conduct peer-to-peer transfers. The wallet can be funded with either Zimbabwe dollars or United States dollars through cash-in, peer to peer transfers or via bank to wallet transfers from the guardian/parent, all aimed at creating convenience and helping children develop financial literacy.
EcoCash chief operating officer Munyaradzi Nhamo said Junior Wallet transaction limits for payments are ZW$35,000 per/day and ZW$240,000 per month, and up to US$175/day and US$700/month on the USD wallet.
Mr Nhamo added that EcoCash was using the child-focused payment platform, a less risky way of giving children money compared to cash, to promote financial inclusion, financial literacy and accountability among children.
“Our aim is to meet the needs of young digital natives who are inclined towards a cash free world,” he said.
“We believe children should be taught financial education at an early age. This can empower them to learn skills that can have a positive impact on their lives. The current global trends, as well as the pandemic and its impact on families, has highlighted the need for personal financial skills.”
The launch of the Junior wallet comes at a time when various studies have revealed that teaching financial skills to children before they enter college, or join the workforce, is crucial to helping them grow into adults who can achieve financial security and success.
To register for the EcoCash Junior Wallet, parents or guardians need to dial *151# (for ZWL wallet) or *153# (for USD wallet), select option 5 – Junior Wallet, then enter child information, including first name, last name, date of birth, identification number and phone number.
They then confirm registration details, and the child will be activated.
However, parents will still be required to attach the KYC documents of the child on a web portal, accessible on https://selfcare.ecocash.co.zw for the account to remain active.