SA Zimbabweans welcome mobile transfers
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| July 31, 2012, 6:12 p.m.
Zimbabweans based in South Africa are fast adopting a service that allows them to transfer money home with their mobile phones.
Mukuru.com, a service launched from the UK by former Zimbabweans, allows registered users to send money across the border by going online or using their cellphones. The service is now expanding across Southern Africa.
For people who are used to queuing at a bank to transfer cash to Zimbabwe, or paying a hefty fee for a bus driver to safeguard it on a bus home, the service is proving welcome.
One such user, identified as Tsitsi, enthuses: “I have used this four times now, and it is so easy! It is cheaper than the money transfer and the bus. And they even send me an SMS when my family gets the money!” She says her compatriots were cautious at first, but now they are all adopting the service.
The service was first approved in South Africa in 2010 and expanded its footprint in South Africa through a partnership with a nationwide retailer, PEP Stores, several months ago.
Rob Burrell, Managing Director at Mukuru.com, says Mukuru.com is in a partnership with South African bureau de change InterAfrica. “Together, we designed a service that suited the Zimbabwean abroad in SA. Any Zimbabwean can register for the service and remit funds instantly back to their loved ones, to be collected at 100 points across Zim.”
The company is showing steady growth, he says. “Because we're Zimbabwean, and we know and love it - we feel we have a really close relationship with our customers.”
The company is rolling out services across Southern Africa to bring hassle-free remittance to other diaspora groups across the region, says Burrell. “We launched services with Nedbank in Malawi recently and are seeing steady growth there. Botswana and Zambia will follow shortly.”
This philosophy shows in the company’s efforts to serve its customers in Shona, and to give discounts on transfer fees the more the service is used.
Burrell says: “We want to build as much benefit to our customer as possible - there are a range of additional benefits coming this year too."
He points out that sending money is a personal thing. Some of the big brands specializing in money transfer can be seen as “faceless behemoths that cannot afford to cater for the individual at a colloquial level,” he says.
Burrell feels these big brands are restricted by a 'one-size-fits-all' template - which needs to work globally.
“With Mukuru (a Shona word for old and respected) we are able to work at a personal level with our customers. The call-centre (which recruits agents who speak the languages of Zimbabwe and now also Malawi) is part of that philosophy, we also hire people who are passionate about how we are helping Zimbabweans abroad.”
Would-be users in South Africa can contact InterAfrica's call centre in Cape Town at 0860MUKURU (0860685878) or visit one of its 20 branches across South Africa, where they can register and complete FICA. InterAfrica's physical branches are located in all major SA cities. Visit http://www.mukuru.com/ia for the branch list.
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
Millicom partners Deezer to bring Tigo Music to 5 African marketsTelecoms and media firm Millicom has announced an extension of its partnership with music streaming service Deezer to take its Tigo Music service to five markets in Africa. Read More
Airtel Money offers KRA mobile tax payment servicesBharti Airtel has partnered with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to offer Kenyan citizens an opportunity to pay their taxes through Airtel Money. Read More
Embracing mCommerceThere’s a word on the lips of everyone in the know these days, and that word is “mCommerce”, says Red & Yellow. Read More
Airtel Money launches new partnership with MOGASAirtel Uganda and MOGAS have officially unveiled their new partnership that allows customers to pay for any MOGAS products and services using Airtel Money at their 38 stations across Uganda. Read More
Econet launches Connected Car serviceEconet has launched yet another revolutionary product branded the Econet Connected Car. Read More
Tigo cash trains over 2,000 agentsAs part of efforts to scale up mobile financial services, particularly in the informal sector, mobile network operator, Tigo is training over 2,000 agents in its award-winning mobile money service, Tigo Cash. Read More
Airtel Money to launch cross border money transfer service across East AfricaBharti Airtel has announced plans to launch a cross border money transfer product in East Africa. This is a first in market initiative across Africa and will enable Airtel Money customers to send, receive and withdraw money from their Airtel Money wallets. Read More
MTN set to support money transfers between Rwanda and UgandaMTN Uganda is partnering with MTN Rwanda to deliver cross border transactions between the two countries. Read More
Former Kampala mayor demands UGX8bn from MTN UgandaMTN Uganda has found itself in protracted lawsuit involving copyrights on caller tunes in a case whose outcome could set a precedent for similar scenarios in future. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSVMware reports third quarter 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced Year-over-Year Revenue Growth of 18% to $1.52 Billion in its financial results for the third quarter ...CNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.