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
ALTON, WASPAN kick against NCC’s VAS regulatory frameworkThe Association of Licenced Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and Wireless Application Service Providers of Nigeria (WASPAN) have opposed the NCC's regulatory framework for the Value Added Services subsector. Read More
MTN Ghana soon to pay interest on Mobile Money Wallet savingsThe over six million registered customers of MTN Mobile Money will soon stand a chance of earning some interest on money kept in their wallets. Read More
Tigo Pesa customers pocket $2.3m/- in quarterly profit shareTigo Pesa users in Tanzania have been paid a total of $2.3m/- as profit share paid every quarter by Tanzania’s leading digital lifestyle telco. Read More
Jongla launches ‘lightest’ instant messaging service in AfricaJongla has announced that it is launching its fast, open and light instant messaging app in Africa at the Mobile West Africa conference taking place in Lagos. Read More
Surfline introduces mobile top-up codeSurfline Communications has introduced another convenient way for customers to top up their Surfline account and activate their 4G LTE internet bundles. Read More
Airtel Money Ghana launches biggest reward scheme yetAirtel Ghana has announced the launch of the biggest scheme to reward customers who recharge or purchase airtime with Airtel Money. Read More
Letshego becomes licensed MasterCard Issuer in MozambiqueBotswana born Letshego Holdings Limited has announced it has received its official principle issuer license from MasterCard in Mozambique. The partnership will see further payment innovations being introduced into the market to its financial inclusion efforts. Read More
World Bank tells policymakers “go cashless” to solve povertyAlix Murphy, Senior Mobile Analyst at WorldRemit, discusses key findings from the World Bank’s new report on financial inclusion. Read More
Nomanini integrates with M-Pesa for merchant cash-inNomanini has announced it has integrated with M-Pesa in Mozambique, enabled via its local country partner, Mozambique Mobile Solutions (MMS). The move will allow merchants to use mobile money agents to top up their virtual vending accounts on Nomanini terminals. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria satellite resources to boost economic growth
The Management of NigComSat says Nigeria’s satellite resources are primed to help the nation in accelerating robust ICT infrastructure to boost economic development for the country.
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 NEWSRSA research reveals blind spots in threat detection
RSA, The Security Division of EMC, has released the results of a new Threat Detection Effectiveness Survey.Networks Unlimited event highlights SimpliVity's new Omnistack Software
Leading data protection focused distributor invites hyperconverged vendor to discuss disaster recovery and data protection.MTN and Ericsson lead the way with first LTE-U network
To future proof its business, MTN SA, together with Ericsson, has successfully trialled LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) at MTN’s flagship channel store in Morningside, Johannesburg.