Nelson Gahadza-Senior Business Reporter
CASSAVA Smartech Zimbabwe, trading as EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe, says it is actively pursuing investments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud-based services to proactively develop products that will meet its customers’ needs and improve client experience.
The group, in its half year financial results for the year ended August 31, 2021 said as a diversified digital solutions group, it would continue with its digital transformation journey and is optimistic about the future.
“The group is anchored on a sound capital and liquidity position, allowing it to continue to support its customers,” board chairperson, Sherree Shereni said in a statement accompanying the financials.
Ms Shereni highlighted that the performance of the business continued to be underpinned by its digital transformation journey, leading to the development of innovative products that provide unparalleled convenience to customers.
“Financial inclusion remains a key strategic focus in all our product development in line with our vision of a digitally connected future that leaves no Zimbabwean behind.
“We have made strides in digital transformation in the period under review with upgrades of key systems, which has positioned the Group for growth into the future,” she said.
During the period under review, EcoCash continued a steady growth trajectory with transaction values and wallet funding on the upward trend compared to the same period at 25 percent and 54 percent respectively.
The group’s mobile money segment revenue grew to $6,3 billion from $5,3 billion attained during the same period ended August 31, 2020. The group’s digital banking revenue grew to $2,8 billion compared to $1,4 billion in the same period prior year.
Ms Shereni said the Steward Bank lending strategy yielded positive results as the 127 percent growth in the loan book from February 2021 spurred the bank’s 795 percent growth in interest income, compared to the same period in financial year 2021.
“The completion of the core banking system upgrade, in line with the acceleration of our digitisation focus, has resulted in improved customer experience and has created capacity for the development of innovative products in the future,” she said.
In line with the group’s revenue diversification strategy, Insurtech business revenue contribution grew from 14 percent in the same period last year to 19 percent on the back of the growing strength of short-term insurance corporate book.
Shereni said Econet Life was awarded for being the most innovative insurance company awards, showing that innovation remains a key pillar in achieving the group’s vision. Meanwhile, Vaya Technologies continues to grow its operations on the back of growth in the agricultural sector.
“The growth in the Healthtech revenue was spurred by our response to the demand for health services during the period due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Shereni.
“We will continue to create the capacity to be able to respond to health needs,” he added.
In terms of revenue performance, the group reported a 36 percent revenue increase to $11,046 billion with the increase in transactional volumes for the Fintech business units largely contributing to this growth.
The half-year financials also show significantly reduced losses from $1,8 billion in the same period last year to $27,6 million in the period under review.
“This huge reduction in loss after-tax came on the back of revenue growth, reduced exchange losses, and effective cost reduction initiatives that started during the prior year,” she said.