• Who is Econet?

    Econet, officially known as Econet Global Ltd, is a diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific Rim, offering products and services in the core areas of mobile and fixed telephone services, broadband, satellite, optical fiber networks and mobile payment.
    The group’s subsidiaries include Econet Mobile Networks Group, Liquid Telecom, Cassava SmarTech, Distributed Power Africa, Vaya Africa and Technites Africa.
    Over the past 20 years, Econet has been the market leader in its industry, with over 12.4 million subscribers.
    Ecocash, Econet’s mobile money service, now has 200 million USD transactions per day.

    MNO’s Challenges

    Lack of value-added

    With the rapid development of emerging technologies, such as mobile payment services, most mobile operators can only handle basic communication features, and so there is next to no added benefit for the user.

    Lack of business

    The Econet Group has large business groups and divisions, such as cable TV, telephone and Internet, but there is no way to connect them all.

    Missing Internet
    Development Dividend

    At present, most of the consumption based on mobile phones is used for applications, and only a small part is the underlying communication features. MNO would like a slice of internet application success, but is not yet able to reap the rewards.

    Loss of Subscribers

    With the development of mobile technology, the policies of different operators for cross-network transfer are more favorable. The development of communication technology with different technologies (such as satellite communication) means competition intensifies and customers choose not to stay. If transfer is convenient, the customer subscription rate increases.

    Voice and Message
    Revenue Shrinking

    There is a large user base, but there is almost no value-added income other than the charge for calls and text messages. Nowadays, there are fewer and fewer calls and text messages based on mobile networks, and the substantial increase in network-based communications has greatly reduced traditional income.


    The decline of traditional voice messaging services, low user loyalty, high basic design operation and maintenance costs, and cross-border squeezing from major Internet companies, are the challenges currently faced by operators. Zimbabwe’s largest operator, Econet, also faces these challenges.

    African version of WeChat

    As financial technology company under the Econet Group, Cassava Fintech is responsible for increasing the group’s value-added service revenue. During an industry exchange meeting with Pheixun, both companies discussed how operators can break the mold, and proposed a concept of an ‘African version of WeChat’, which integrates mobile payment, social sharing and instant messaging — becoming the social payment application platform customized for Africa.

    Chat-pay-explore — all in one super App

    This is the original demand for the Sasai product we are currently operating. By providing free instant messaging and social sharing services, users’social relationships will be transferred into Sasai, and they will be more loyal to operator’s services. Through the SasaiPay mobile payment system, users will be also be provided with a cross-operator mobile wallet service — thus breaking the limitations of the scope of application of traditional mobile wallets.

    In order to meet more needs of the users, Sasai continues to build and improve its ecosystem, and has successively launched SasaiWatch and SasaiPodcast; two video and audio applications that provide paid subscriptions for digital content. According to the problem of network access difficulties in Africa, Sasai and sister operating company, Liquid, provided WiFiFinder hotspot access on Sasai to reduce users’ Internet traffic costs. On top of this, with the impact of this year’s epidemic, Sasai extended the video call function to 20 people to meet the communication needs of working from home, and two COVID-19-based regulatory applications, HSR and Travel Pass, are now connected to Sasai’s Explore module to help the country in epidemic prevention and control.

    Future direction-Fintech

    Through the construction of the increasingly complete Sasai ecosystem, Econet plans to expand Sasai in the field of financial technology in the future — providing cryptocurrency trading, stock trading, investment and wealth management, P2P online lending, purchasing insurance and other financial services. Customers provide richer, value-added services and enhance user loyalty. Through paid subscription, mobile payment, financial services, advertising distribution and other means, we have obtained continuous increase in value-added service revenue. This made up for the losses caused by the decline in traditional communication services, and at the same time, the growth rate of SIM card users is further improved by obtaining a free, or more favorable, Sasai package for Econet users.

    In the process of Sasai’s pan-African operations, Econet constantly discovers new needs of the users. Econet not only links different business groups and branch businesses within the group to Sasai, but also attracts a large number of service providers from outside. Sasai continuously improves its ecological construction in preparation for Africa and the rest of the world.


    In response to the challenges encountered by Econet, a social payment ecosystem named SASAI was proposed. Led by the idea of ‘chat-pay-explore — all in one’, Sasai is a mobile payment platform based on social relationships, and provides value-added services to meet the needs of users in social communication, mobile payment, content learning , information sharing and multiple requirements.


    Through the development of SASAI business, Econet’s service scope has expanded from the original three countries of Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi to cover most of the countries in African continent. With the continuous improvement of SASAI’s services and ecosystem, Econet’s business scope will cover more industries and regions in the future.

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