OK Zimbabwe and FNB launch SA diaspora mobile remittance service

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FNB, Ok ZimbabweA press release today announced the launch of a mobile based remittance service by First National Bank (FNB) and OK Zim for people in South Africa to send money to Zimbabwe. The service, called FNB Zimbabwe Money Transfer allows customer of the bank to register for the service and send money back home using their cell phones. The money is picked up by recipients at OK retail stores in Zimbabwe using a valid ID.

On the fees of the service Yolande van Wyk, Head of Digital and Alternative Banking for FNB Africa, said that it’s based on a tiered pricing structure. There are basically 2 tiers; Sending money between R100 and R1,000 costs R45, and sending money between R1,001.00 and R1,500.00 costs R70.

The percentages therefore range from high of 45% for the small amounts and a low of 4.5% for the larger amounts. Senders can send a maximum of R3,000 a day and R10,000 monthly, (details here).

So far money can be redeemed at 2 OK branches in Zimbabwe; one in Harare CBD and the other Bulawayo CBD. FNB has indicated that it will be advising in due course when the service will be available at 32 other branches of the supermarket. The supermarket chain is said to have over 55 branches in Zimbabwe.

The move comes as financial institutions and mobile operators look for ways to cash in on the millions of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora by coming up with solutions for remittance. According to the announcement today, FNB had done research that revealed that an estimated 1.9 million Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa send an average R6.7 billion (about US $740 million)  a year to Zimbabwe. About 20% of that money, research also revealed, is spent on the cost of getting the money to Zimbabwe.

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Econet indicated late last year that they were looking to introduce international remittances (last paragraph) as part of their EcoCash mobile money service. Ok Zimbabwe also partnered Standard Bank in December last year in an arrangement in many ways similar to this new FNB service. UK based remittances startup, Mukuru.com has also built a whole business around enabling Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to remit not only money, but at one point even fuel and groceries.

You can read the full press release here.

Source: Finx

32 Comments

  1. Brian says:

    I am an FNB banker and so far, the option to ‘send money to Zimbabwe’ is not yet appearing either on my Cellphone Banking or Online banking, will update as soon as i try it out

    1. Dogstar says:

      Dial *120*321# —>Option 4 eWallet –>Option 2 Send to Zimbabwe

      1. Jackson Khumalo says:

        Two collection points only. And OK Stores…this is not their main business. Why cannot we send with FNB but collect with Mukuru, this is best of both worlds?

        1. tinm@n says:

          FYI, FNB started allowing sending money via Moneygram since last year. I have been doing so. You register you recipient (online or at the bank). Your recipient will automatically appear as an option.

          *120*321# > Option 2 (Banking) > Option 4 (Payments) > Moneygram > YOUR RECIPIENT NAME… etc

          Its convenient and safe. The more the merrier. More money through formal channels will benefit the country. Am sure it will grow

    2. Batman says:

      You can also do it on fnb’s online banking but the ewallet method mentioned by @TheDogstar:disqus is quiet easier

      1. Dogstar says:

        You cannot do it via online banking. Only via cellphone banking ie via USSD (*120*321#) or fnb.mobi.

  2. tatendataa says:

    i would go for it coz it seems cheaper than any other competitor i know. how much is mukuru charging

    1. Dogstar says:

      I understand that Mukuru gets 10% of the money you send

      1. Jordan N says:

        Yea, it’s 10%, but on R500-700, I would stick with Mukuru – the difference in fee is R10 or so, but they have helped me for years, and to be honest, they are Zimbabwean. FNB gave me big hassles for years, now they see an opportunity to milk us foreigners here, now all of a sudden they offer services. Ah ah!

        1. Whats this story that Mukuru is Zimbabwean???? Can we have the facts please.

    2. 10% yes. Drivers veMunhenzva also charge 10%.

  3. Future says:

    This is a good idea because Zimbabwean can use formal remittance channels instead on the risky informal transfer such as sending cash with bus drivers. Tanzwa nekudyirwa mari dzedu nema-drivers, vachiti vhara!

    1. Farai Sairai says:

      yes you are right. At 20% of money sent, I think it was a rip off. Then I went ot Western Union but then they have some weird fees. Glad FNB came up with this one. Way much cheaper than the rest of the MTAs

  4. Farai Sairai says:

    But FNB has a deal with Mukuru via PEP. Seems like FNB is stabbing Mukuru in the back?

    1. Dogstar says:

      It’s just business I think. Money money money money!

    2. that mukuru pep stuff is complex, u have to go there and register etc. with this u js have to have an fnb account.

      1. Rainmaker says:

        Pindile. If you are a Mukuru customer you don’t have to travel to register again, you can just place your order by dialling *120*494*120# – and pay Mukuru at PEP or even via cellphone banking FROM FNB. That’s what I do. Then your recipient can collect all over the country. I send to Chitungwiza.

        1. Farai Sairai says:

          I tried to do the PEP thing but after going in circles, ie the staff at PEP had no clue about Mukuru and the FNB staff telling version 21 of how it’s done, I gave up and went back to Western Union. But this new process is easier. Plus cheaper than WU, Moneygram , etc. Definitely the way forward plus no middle man.

          And no more excuses for not sending money back home. Kuti bank is closed not working anymore! 🙂

  5. Culprit says:

    It’s a good move by FNB at last a financial institution giving ecocash some actual competition this could be really big I just hope zimbos in SA support it for what it’s worth, It was now annoying getting so may press releases and tacky ads about the marvel of econet, go FNB go

  6. Precilla says:

    I will stick with Mukuru. They are founded by Zimbabweans and I support my countrymen, plus at 10%, I usually send R600, which costs me R60. For that extra R10 I get all of Mukuru’s collection points, not just two OK stores, plus they have great service and support. To be honest.

    1. Can u tell us more about this… “They are founded by Zimbabweans”. Who are the owners of Mukuru?

      1. Precilla says:

        I’m not sure their names, but my cousin used to work at their call-centre for almost two years, everyone there was Zimbabwean – and all pretty young I think. She loved working there. Saka it’s good to see our brethren being in innovative. Mukuru!

        1. Tom says:

          advertising!!!

  7. Zimictfan says:

    This service will never succeed and this is just marketing in my view. If I remember there is another service between OK and Standard bank. I have never met anyone who has used it or heard about it in the grapevine or media. All these companies/banks don’t have a strong agent network like EcoCash so I doubt EcoCash will even see this as competition even if they enter this remittance market. Ok has 54 stores in Zimbabwe compare to 3000 EcoCash agents and they do not have presence in a number of areas around the country. Does one have to travel to an OK store in a city 100km away to collect money. What is the cost of doing that. So long they require people with fnb accounts to send money in SA it means that a large number of Zimbabweans will not access this service because they don’t have IDs or permits. If FNB were clever they would team up with EcoCash in order to take advantage of the agency network and maybe direct credit to the wallet then that’s convenience. Don’t think this is anything worth all the noise….just another marketing gimmic.

    1. Farai Sairai says:

      I think this is a trial. 2 stores initially then roll out to the rest. Yes maybe link up with Ecocash agents too. FNB is clever Zimictfan. Am sure they have something up their sleeves.

    2. I’m just thinking widely here, but OK are EcoCash agents right? Well what is to stop them from getting FNB to ask the Remitter what is the mobile number of the person to whom they are sending the money to, then they relay this info to OK together with the money.

      OK then does an Ecocash transfer to the mobile number that was stated, minus a “nominal” service fee and the Receiver can then go to any EcoCash agent to collect their funds. This can all be done automatically, if the Remitter requests that it be sent via EcoCash. Further, should the Remitter desire they can cover the “nominal” fee/extra charge to use the EcoCash option.

      I say kudos to OK, they are in a vantage position.

      My $0.02

  8. I’m just thinking widely here, but OK are EcoCash agents right? Well what is to stop them from getting FNB to ask the Remitter what is the mobile number of the person to whom they are sending the money to, then they relay this info to OK together with the money.

    OK then does an Ecocash transfer to the mobile number that was stated, minus a “nominal” service fee and the Receiver can then go to any EcoCash agent to collect their funds. This can all be done automatically, if the Remitter requests that it be sent via EcoCash. Further, should the Remitter desire they can cover the “nominal” fee/extra charge to use the EcoCash option.

    I say kudos to OK, they are in a vantage position.

    My 2 cents on this issue

  9. PRUDENCE SAUNYAMA says:

    FNB NETWORK HAS ALWAYS BEEN DOWN AND YOU CANT COLLECT CASH SINCE SATURDAY .OK ZIMBABWE MONEY WAVERING GUYS FOR FNB NOT HELPFUL AT ALL THEY NAIVE.IF THEY SYSTEM IS DOWN R THEY DON,T HAVE RANDS THEY ARE NOT RELIABLE AT ALL

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