Moving money between any two countries is pricey business. The commissions for such services have always been steep, which explains why everyone from traditional banks to remittances services and lately, mobile networks are all out to get a slice of that cake.
For most Zimbabweans, a familiar service provider in this space is Mukuru. The South African based company has established a presence in Botswana Kenya, Malawi, and Zimbabwe through mobile money remittances services. Locally Mukuru has gone on to partner with mobile network operator, Telecel for one of its services.
Now Mukuru has opened up money transfer service from South Africa to Botswana, with a flat rate of 10%. This is just under half of the 20.19% average commission for similar transfers that have been championed by South African financial institutions like ABSA, Nedbank and FNB.
The transaction is powered by USSD or carried out through the Mukuru Mobile App for the sender, with the recipient picking up their cash at any of the 3 branches of the SMH Botswana Bureau de Change.
The disruption is in mobile phone convenience
The problems being solved by Mukuru is rather obvious. The challenge that has existed all this time lies with moving funds between two key Southern African countries and also doing so in a timely manner.
Judging from the service providers that have carved out a space in this corridor (the Whos Who of SA Brick and Mortar Banks – FNB, Standard, Bidvest, ABSA etc) there are regular transactions handled here and the market is fairly big.
However, they aren’t the only ones who have noticed the opportunity here. MoneyGram and Western Union are already in the mix as well. these two offer the same service as Mukuru and have presented a faster delivery of money as their value proposition.
If Mukuru wants to make an impression here, the mobile phone, which has been an underpinning element of its service so far, has to be leveraged on. A partnership with a mobile money service provider like the partnership with Telecash will change the reach of its money transfer services.
It definitely beats having just 3 pick up points and with Western Union in the same space, you can bet that it will extend what it has been doing with MNO money services like EcoCash and MPesa to this market.
You can read the press release from Mukuru below
There is a new way to send money from South Africa to Botswana
Mukuru launches South Africa to Botswana money transfers.
Cape Town – Mukuru announced today that they have launched money transfers from South Africa to Botswana. This corridor has been traditionally dominated by South African banks with senders having to pay high transfer costs. The fourth quarter average in 2014 was 20.19%. Recipients have also had to wait days before the money was available to them.
Mukuru is changing this. They offer a simple, quick and safe way of sending money at a flat rate of 10%. Mukuru clients in South Africa make use of their mobile phones to place an order by dialling *130*567# or use the Mukuru app or mobi site. They then pay for their order at any major retailer, such as Pick n Pay, Shoprite or Spar.
Their recipients in Botswana will then be able to collect cash instantly from any SMH Botswana Bureau de Change branch. SMH have three branches, with two located in Gaborone at Game City and Airport Junction Shopping Centres. The third is located in Kasane.
“We are really excited about this launch and are looking forward to providing the same great service to the Tswana people and other diaspora that will benefit from it. It’s a really convenient way of sending money, backed by great customer support. I’m sure the Tswana people will like what we have to offer”, said Michael Cook, Marketing Manager at Mukuru.