By Dipo Olowookere Two joint winners have emerged at the inaugural edition of East Africa Com Awards, where six awards were presented recently at Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. East Africa Com Awards celebrate the achievements of the people and companies at the forefront of digital transformation in East Africa. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that have innovated to bring digital disruption and benefit the people of the region. Cassava Fintech and Comviva won in 'Fintech Innovation Award' category for EcoCash Merchant Payments powered by mobiquity\u00ae Money. EcoCash Merchant Payments extends the success of EcoCash beyond money transfer and airtime recharge. It allows EcoCash users to pay at a variety of merchants ranging from supermarkets to small businesses and overcome the cash crunch and change problem prevalent in Zimbabwe. EcoCash offers multiple options for merchant payments. Customers can pay to merchant by entering merchant code and payment amount in EcoCash app or USSD menu on their mobile phone. Customers can use EcoCash Debit Card to pay at point of sale terminals. For online payments, customers can use the virtual card. EcoCash has also launched \u2018tap and go\u2019 NFC payments with EcoCash ta service, which equips customers with a NFC sticker and merchants with a portable NFC POS device. All these services have helped to digitize day-to-day payments in Zimbabwe and reduce the dependence on cash. The impact of EcoCash has been phenomenal - 70 percent of the country\u2019s day-to-day commercial transactions are made through EcoCash, and moving the country one step closer to achieving their goal of being a cashless society. Commenting on being selected as the winner for the award, Chief Executive Officer of Cassava Fintech Zimbabwe Mr Eddie Chibi, said, \u201cAs Cassava we endeavor to operate wherever money changes hands, with an ambition to drive financial inclusion, digital payments and lead the adoption of e-Commerce in Africa. "We are committed to constantly seeking out new ways to deliver innovative digital transaction solutions which makes it easier and provides convenience to our customers in a manner which solves their real life problems in a meaningful way. "The scale to which our merchant payments service has reached is testimony to the fact that technology can be effectively used to help uplift the life of the people. We are humbled and grateful to be the recipient of this award.\u201d Also commenting, Head of Africa Region at Comviva, Anil Krishnan, noted that, \u201cWe believe that fintech solutions that cater to the necessities of the people on the ground have the power to bring financial revolution in Africa. EcoCash in Zimbabwe is one such service which has replaced cash and is helping in alleviating the cash problem. "With EcoCash Merchant Payments we are proud to be instrumental in accelerating the digital payments growth in Zimbabwe. The award validates our efforts in bringing innovative fintech services to the forefront.\u201d EcoCash merchant payments are powered by Comviva\u2019s mobiquity\u00ae Money platform. mobiquity\u00ae Money delivers a host of mobile money services that transforms the way consumers save, borrow, transfer and spend money. It is designed to seamlessly integrate consumer touch points with a wide ecosystem of banks, billers, merchants and third-party payment systems, creating a convergence powered by interoperability. Apart from delivering convenience to consumers, the solution enables financial service providers to acquire new customers, create long-term loyalty with existing ones, and seize new revenue opportunities to increase their footprint in the market. mobiquity\u00ae Money empowers financial service providers to be agile in their markets, with complete focus on the customers. mobiquity\u00ae Money has clocked over 60 deployments in more than 45 countries. It powers three of the top 10 deployments globally and processes more than 4 billion transactions every year amounting to over $80 billion annually.