Mama Money to launch SA-to-Zimbabwe money transfers to Textacash wallets

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You might have heard that a new South Africa to Zimbabwe remittance service called Mama Money is coming in the next couple of weeks. The key problem that Mama Money identified is that it’s still very expensive for migrants in the country to remit back home so they are bringing a new and somewhat anti-capitalist thinking to it. Their social business venture is designed for “profit-minimising” they say, so they charge 5% and “no hidden costs”.

The World Bank estimates the average cost of remitting money to Zimbabwe from South African at 16.55%.

The startup, which is based out of Cape Town, was co-founded by Mathieu Coquillon and Raphael Grojnowski who have used their own funds to set the venture up.  This week, the startup did what they call an “onboarding” launch in Cape Town, that to say they announced there to start the process of signing up more agents and customers. They are only available in Cape Town for now and total number of agents is 20 and for the Zimbo Capetonians among you readers, here’s the list on the Mama Money website. They say they’ll be launching in Joburg and other cities in the coming months.

On the Zim side, Mama money hasn’t launched yet, which means their customers can’t start transacting yet. They are waiting for RBZ approval they say. The startup has however partnered Old Mutual’s CABS bank and will be delivering remittances straight to the financial institution’s 300k + Textacash mobile wallets.

Mama Money faces competition from Mukuru, which itself has always positioned itself as a remittance service for low income migrants. Mukuru has a similar CABS deal in fact, something Mama probably saw and liked. Mukuru however charges a 10% fee for transfers whether that’s into a Textacash wallet or any payout point. They also face competition from Western Union which, though considered the most expensive and cumbersome on the sender side, can now deliver remittances direct to the 3.7 million plus EcoCash mobile wallets and 15,000 plus agents in Zimbabwe now.

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Here’s a Shona vernacular video on the Mama Money website (click through to the site for English)

9 Comments

  1. pindile mhandu says:

    Well I guess its a great service. FNB also does sa-zim money dhiri and charges R45 transaction fee for R100-R1000 which makes it cheaper than Mama Money coz thats like 4.5% fee. You collect money at selected OK stores.

    1. Thanks for the information Pindile. helpful info

    2. tinm@n says:

      FNB service is horrible at the receiving end, at OK. They can tell you that they will not convert Rands to USDs so you will have to wait until Rands are available. I have had someone wait over 2 weeks.

      That left a sour taste in my mouth.

      I use the other FNB service… through their partnership with Moneygram.

      Less hassle.No Western Union issues.

  2. Shem says:

    Then there are those in Zim with relatives & friends in SA who may be in need of a few Rands and have no way of getting it safely other than having to trust the Greyhound Bus driver…

    1. JJ says:

      Making international transactions comes with many concerns. Will the money actually get there? How do I know the process is secure? Rather send cash home with Hello Paisa they have thousands of pay in point in South Africa and pay out partners in Zim. And the are cheap .. they charge R5 per R100! http://www.hellopaisa.co.za/index.php

  3. Wekwa says:

    While it is a good initiative they should consider the majority of the Zimbabweans in SA do not use internet banking. We need something that happens in real time and with various payout options like Hand2handtransfers used to do before they went on their very long upgrade that broke my relationship with them. If you EFT from Capitec that may take at least a day and then mama money ppromises to payou within 24 hours. that could be 2 days!

    And I hope they won’t operate like Hand@hand transfers ( an affiliate of exchange4free ?? somebody help me) whose system cant even send a password reset link and with some links not working.

    I also do not see how cheap they claim to be. My recent transaction with Western Union cost me R174,70 while it would have cost me R185,54 if I had used mama money.

    1. JJ says:

      Hi Wekwa

      I will rather use Hello Paisa it’s cheap, safe and you family gets the cash instantly. They have hundreds of pay out partners in Zimbabawe. they charge only R5 per R100 you send. http://www.hellopaisa.co.za/index.php

  4. judith bunhu says:

    hie l want to be an angent for mum africa l stay in soweto contact me on 0835819133

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