Exciting news out of South Africa advise that MTN SA have launched a Visa card for their Mobile Money uses, following in suite of mobile payments pioneer M-PESA who did something similar way back in 2011! Orange also has a similar service.
MTN has brought convenience to its users allowing them to make purchases at Visa Point of Sale (POS’) machines dotted around the county, heck worldwide me thinks. The card links to one’s MTN Mobile Money account thus allowing one to use the card as if they are transacting from their cellphone.
The facility also enables users to withdraw money from ANY Visa-enabled ATM and is currently offering incentives to its customers to use the card at ANY Pick ‘n Pay outlets to try and increase the uptake (as if Zimbabweans need an incentive).
Exciting news indeed.
Why should we be doing somersaults and cartwheels this side of the Limpopo? With between one to five million Zimbabweans based in Mzansi, the probability of just about anyone having a relative there is very high. With these relatives using unorthodox methods to send money home, something Econet even realises, this launch from MTN will bring a sigh of relief for many, allowing relatives to send money to Zimbabwe at affordable prices. (Goodbye Western Union, MoneyGram and Mukuru???)
- Relative in South Africa can go and sign up for MTN Mobile Money (I’m sure MTN does not require one to have a work permit or documents that prove that they are legally residing there, I know, I traveled there recently and registered for the service)
- Said relative signs up for MTN Visa card, does the necessary linking of one of their account.
- The MTN Visa card is then sent to Zimbabwe, probably by bus. (Be sure not to put your PIN with the card when sending it – you can give it through WhatsApp or Facebook, SMS if you still use it)
- When relative now needs to send funds to Zimbabwe (well to the person who has the card) all they have to do is deposit funds into the MTN Mobile Money account that is linked to the card and advise the card holder to go to ANY ATM that accepts Visa cards (is there an ATM that doesn’t?) and they have their money, instantly!!! No middlemen, no EcoCash diaspora, no high bank or transfer charges!
I know, you welcome.
I currently use a similar hack to “send money” out of Zimbabwe and has been working like a charm.
Would be great if EcoCash introduce a Visa (or MasterCard) account link, or telecash do give a slight tweak to their recently announced Gold Card. I’m not even gonna venture to say NetOne’s OneWallet, who are tin the process of thinking of bringing back the public phone booth!!!
What does this launch mean to you? Do you send money to Zimbabwe from South Africa? Will you start to use MTN Mobile Money’s Visa card to send money home?