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
Sterling Bank, AppZone’s CreditClub partner on unbanked customersSterling Bank Plc has signed up to AppZone’s CreditClub to leverage its agent network and banking technology platform to serve customers outside traditional branches. Read More
Africa offers potential for cashless paymentAfrican countries share some of the world’s highest speeds of digital growth with people now constantly in pursuit of faster and more convenient ways of paying for goods and services. With the advances in technology, it is now possible to satisfy this demand at reasonable costs, delegates heard at ... Read More
Safaricom launches M-PESA bill manager serviceSafaricom has launched a new service known as ‘Bill Manager’ that will enable customers to manage and pay bills via M-PESA all in a single transaction. Read More
BankOne empowers 250 Microfinance BanksOne of Africa’s leading Information Technology platforms for micro finance banks, BankOne, has announced the signing up of its 250th client. Read More
Orange Money in France to allow money transfers to three African countriesOrange Money is available in Metropolitan France to enable Orange mobile subscribers in France to transfer money via their mobile to other Orange Money customers in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. Read More
Dar es Salaam gets UberDar es Salaam has become the 475th city to join in Uber’s growing global network. Read More
Carrefour signs up for Lipa Na M-PESACarrefour, the world’s second largest hypermarket chain, has today become the first retailer in Kenya to fully integrate Safaricom’s payments service – Lipa Na M-PESA – paving the way for the retailer to fully adopt M-PESA as a payments channel in Kenya. Read More
Tigo Insurance pays 10,000th claimantTigo Ghana says it paid over GHS 6.2 million to policyholders since the inception of Tigo Insurance in 2010. This was revealed during the presentation of a payment to its 10,000th claimant. Read More
Uber signs MoU with Ghana’s Transport MinistryUber, a technology company that connects riders and drivers at the touch of a button, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ghana’s Ministry of Transport. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSTigo, JI and GES equip teachers on child online protection initiative
Tigo, in partnership with J Initiative (JI), a youth focused non-governmental organisation in Ghana, have committed to protecting children online through policy advocacy, awareness creation, public education ...Ericsson and King’s College London demonstrate 5G tactile robotic surgery
Ericsson and King’s College London will be demonstrating a 5G use case of tactile robotic surgery at 5G World 2016 in London on 29-30 June.Tigo Business – Building trusted business partner relationships with clients
Tigo Business has increased and empowered its account management team to improve its overall customer service experience.