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How to send money to Zimbabwe

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Send Money To Zimbabwe

Send Money To Zimbabwe

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So in sending money to the UK, one of the questions that people asked me was how do I send money to Zimbabwe.

Why send money to Zimbabwe?

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I know, weird question. But there are people out there that still ask.

Well, for those of you that still have relatives and friends that are still here, the need often arises for you to give them a helping hand. Better yet, you may be considering taking out a mortgage or buying a stand and would like that property developed.

How to do this wisely without being “closed” (duped/shortchanged) is for another article, but what needs to be emphasised is that as much as we may have gone on to “greener pastures”, Zimbabwe is still home for a lot of us.

As such, I’ve come up with a list (not exhaustive but rather comprehensive) of how you can send money to Zimbabwe the most effective ways.

How to send money to Zimbabwe?

Here are 7 ways, that if I’d be out of Zimbabwe I’ll use to send money back home. (N.B. I write as someone in Zimbabwe, looking out, and the methods listed below are what I see to be the most effective)

  • Western Union
    The age old option of sending money home. Growing up whenever I’d hear that my parents were sent money from overseas, Western Union was the de facto to the effect that it would be said “I’ll Western Union you the money!”
    We knew where their offices were, opening and closing times and would even have a stash of their forms at home. No, my dad never worked there. Hmmmm, or did he?Process is very simple, you visit a Western Union outlet, fill in a form, stating the amount you’d like your recipient to receive.
    They calculate how much it’ll cost you (taking into consideration the exchange rate and their commission). You set a “test question”  together with answer for verification, and they also give you a 10 digit code that the recipient needs to produce when collecting the money.They do send to people’s mobile wallets, however they do not have either EcoCash, telecash or OneWallet connected, just yet. So for now, the recipient will have to take that 10 digit code, together with the test question and answer to a Western Union agent and get their money. A list of the agents can be found here.
  • MoneyGram
    MoneyGram operates a lot similar to Western Union, where the person in Zimbabwe will have to visit an agent to collect their funds, however with the exception that their sending capabilities are 24 hours, you can do it online!
    This is rather convenient for those instances when you need to send money beyond working hours, or even on holidays.However, there is the challenge of the recipient is still governed by the operating hours of the agent where they’ll need to pick up the cash.
    From what I’ve seen, these agents are mostly banks (please someone comment if they know of any agent for MoneyGram that’s not a bank) and I’m no fan of their archaic business models.To their credit, MoneyGram has an “Account Now Visa Debit card” that anyone can subscribe to. Get your relative in Zimbabwe to take out this card, so that whenever you need to send money home, you can do it through the card. They can go to ANY Visa-enabled POS, ATM or even shop online. BEWARE of the bank fees on this card. Make sure you find out what the monthly, transactional and deposit fees are, before you make the plunge.
  • Mukuru
    This money transfer agency has been around for sometime. Highly convenient for those in South Africa, as there are USSD codes that you can dial and access the service – *130*567# and do your transaction.
    There are a host of locations locations in SA, where you can transact:  Shoprite, Spar, Pick n Pay, Lewis, Fnb. Kazang, Inter-Africa, Boxer stores. The registration requirements are rather pathetic though, if you ask me, proof of identity, residence and income, I mean seriously? Too much info people.However, this service seems to be popular with a bunch of Zimbos in Mzansi. Mukuru have gone ahead and partnered with both CABS and telecash, essentially allowing your relatives to go to even more places to get their funds.
  • WorldRemit
    Recently having partnered with Ecocash this service allows the recipient to receive their money directly into their Ecocash wallet. With Ecocash having over 4 million subscribers chances are high that the person to whom you are sending money to, either has an Ecocash account or has access to someone who does.
    The joy of this service is that it is web based and hence you can do your transfer on the fly, just needing a Visa or MasterCard.Visit their website, together with your Visa and/or MasterCard, select how you’d like your recipient to get their cash and presto, you’d done. Admittedly they make their money through both transfer commission and rate exchange.
  • Hand2HandTransfers
    This is a lot similar to the above methods, however, what stands out for me here is that they have direct deposits for things like tuition. This definitely avoids the headaches and heartaches of you sending money to family on the pretext that it is for school fees, to then find out that they have diverted the cash and used it for something else.We covered them here. They do state that they have direct transfers to mobile wallets, Ecocash, telecash and OneWallet, but when you open the account and dig deeper they then have a “coming soon”. For now, it looks like they’ll send to bank accounts and have limited a ‘cash out’ agent network.
  • FNB to OK
    This method will go down well with those that are in SA and use FNB. The forward thinking bank, has signed up with OK, the large listed supermarket that has a huge branch network and flexible operating hours, enabling people to go to the regular store and get their funds.
  • Bitcoin
    Bitcoin is a great idea. I don’t know of any faster and cheaper way of sending money across a border. It’s just as fast as Paypal because the money is sent instantly. But it’s also the cheapest payment system out there because transactions are only 4 cents each.
    It’s 4 cents no matter how much money you want to send. Great for micro transactions too (think paying 1 cent to read a tweet or a paragraph on Techzim)
    You can also sign the transaction in such a way that the money can be delivered in the future or use stuff such as multisig (multiple signatures) which means that the transaction also goes through only if 3 authorised people sign it. I can talk about how Bitcoin is a superior payment system all day but it is not without disadvantages.


    And these are:
    * It’s not easy to convert Bitcoin to US dollars in Zimbabwe right now. The only exchange that allows you to sell Bitcoin if you are in Zimbabwe is http://localbitcoins.com.
    * Only a handful of businesses will allow you to pay with Bitcoin in Zimbabwe.
    * It’s still volatile so we don’t know if the price will go up, go down or remain the same 2 hours after we send the Bitcoins

    To start using it anyway, all you need is a Bitcoin wallet. The Bitcoin wallet is necessary to send and/or receive Bitcoin.

    People wishing to send Bitcoin can buy them from a Bitcoin exchange

    One can download a Bitcoin wallet here: https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet
    One can choose a Bitcoin exchange from this list (not that these exchanges are not available in all countries): https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Exchanges

Do you have another method of how to send money fast (and even better if it’s cheap?) No, not the buses but some other method that we could have a look at and perhaps review? Do comment below and let us all know.


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13 thoughts on “How to send money to Zimbabwe

  1. Please can you exclude Hand2HandTransfers from this list to spare your readers the nightmare service. After reading about this service here on TechZim I tried them out. There are a couple of things very wrong with their system. Yes I sent them an email with this information too:

    1. There are no notifications at all. Nothing, no SMS or email to inform or confirm any transactions
    2. They deducted money from my credit card and cancelled transaction with no explanation. I have no idea what is going on
    3. I have been waiting 3 days for a response

    They are simply not ready for business and please all do yourselves a favour and stay away from them. I used my real name and my email address so if anyone from the company want to contact me you please do so.

        1. I tried this some time ago with an FBC prepaid and a Stanchart card. Good luck. Stanchart held the transaction then reversed it. FBC out right declined. rightfully so.

    1. Mpumelolo, that’s what happens when you use a stolen card, you cant expect them to give full courtesy to fraudsters as well….

      1. No no no Taurai G. Don’t make such libelous statements you will not be able to back up. My credit card was refunded after contacting my bank.

        You are the fraudsters and I have the proof to show for it.

        I have to commend you for your great communication PRO skills. Calling potential customers and people who took the time to give you feedback fraudsters without any ounce of proof.

  2. Thank you for the Topic. Yes Bitcoin is a new form of Digital Currency which can be used to send money fast to Zimbabwe. This brings a new opportunity for people to start up Bitcoin Exchangers in Zimbabwe. Anyone interested in this project contact me at cchindove1@gmail.com

  3. Side note. I managed to move money from Stanchart Visa to Ecocash wallet using World Remit. You need to get a UK address that you can use, a UK Number (I used a voip number) and voila you are good to go.

  4. I used Mukuru when I lived in London, and now use them again from Joburg. I am in the banking space and know that the Proof of ID, Address, Income is not them being crazy – it’s a regulatory environment in South Africa governed by SARB, the process is called FICA, and has to be performed, but yes, a hassle. I think there are cheaper ways to send money, but Mukuru have never let me down, and I like supporting something founded by Zimbabweans

  5. There is also Exchange4free,
    leading provider of FREE money transfers to and from Zimbabwe worldwide with guaranteed best USD and ZAR exchange rates and no hidden costs. Safe and secure, registered money transfer agency with SARB.
    Assisting in all money transfer, foreign exchange, tax and emigration needs.

  6. I liked your mention of Bitcoin. Just curious: you mentioned that there might be a few companies in ZImbabwe accepting Bitcoin. Can you share with us what companies those might be? Also, do you know of any one planning to open a Bitcoin exchange in Zimbabwe? It would be really nice to have a BitPesa-like service in place. BitPesa allows you to send Bitcoin through their site, and the recipient gets Kenyan Shilling (BitPesa only operates in Kenya right now) directly in their m-Pesa account on their cellphone (like EcoCash). When I tested it out, it worked very smoothly and efficiently. The best thing about BitPesa is that it has competitive exchange rates on small transactions, so sending $2 is almost the same cost as sending $20 or $200. There are a few other such services. I think Beam just opened in Ghana and is targeting the Nigerian market. And there is also BitX in South Africa, but that is not connected with mobile money.

    You can check out my review of BitPesa here:

    http://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/in-depth-review-bitpesa

    By the way, I’m a long-time reader of TechZim, and really really like your guys’ work. Keep it up.

    1. Exchange4free now offer Ecocash Mobile Money Transfers for their clients in Zimbabwe. Expanding payout options to include Ecocash mobile money, bank transfers and cash collections.
      Exchange4free are looking to include more mobile transfer solutions within Zimbabwe. So check out the website to keep up to date with what they offer.

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