SA Zimbabweans welcome mobile transfers
VALUE ADDED SERVICESBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Samsung Partners in good health for Sub-Saharan AfricaSamsung Electronics is supporting the GSMA Mobile for Development mHealth programme on a range of mHealth services in Africa. Read More
New partners join ITU’s Be He@lthy, Be Mobile initiativeThe International Telecommunication Union has announced that global healthcare company GSK and Public Health England (PHE) will join Be He@lthy, Be Mobile, an initiative which it leads in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). Read More
SIA Group enters African card payments sectorPerago has signed an agreement with Swish Payments to support its new m-commerce initiative in Africa and Europe. Read More
MTN partners Salt & Einstein MTS, NHIS on insuranceMTN Nigeria says it has partnered Salt & Einstein MTS and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NIHS) to help push health insurance to many people in the country leveraging on its wider reach. Read More
Free Twitter on EconetEconet Wireless is now offering free access to Twitter to all subscribers on Econet Broadband. Read More
Gemalto, GSMA drive African mHealth initiativeGemalto has announced its partnership with (global System for Mobile Communication Association (GSMA1) to drive the pan-African mHealth Initiative (PAMI). Read More
Has Africa slowed in global mobile payments innovation?wiGroup says Africa has lost ground to the US and China in the mobile payments innovation race. Read More
New mobile payment system goes live in SAMobile payment system Zapper has launched its innovative and secure payment app for smartphones in South Africa. Read More
Mobile banking numbers to pass online banking by 2019New findings from Juniper Research finds that over 1.75 billion mobile phone users will have used their devices for banking purposes by the end of 2019, compared to 800 million this year. Read More
FEATURED STORYWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern
Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.
COMPANY NEWSVMware reports second quarter 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced financial results for the second quarter of 2014.New Sage ERP X3 version puts business information at your fingertips
Sage ERP Africa has announced the availability of Sage ERP X3 version 7, the latest version of its global business management solution for midsized companies.How the cloud can power entrepreneurship and urbanisation in Africa
Cloud computing is not only fundamentally changing the way business operates, it is also driving a new wave of job creation opportunities, says SAP Africa.