Receive Money in Zimbabwe From The Diaspora in USD with BitMari

Last week, Techzim wrote about a startup called Study 263 which solves remittance issues using bitcoin. However, the startup only limits its services to from Zimbabwe to S.A and vice versa.

Today, let’s talk about BitMari a bit.

BitMari is a Bitcoin startup by Christopher Mapondera and Sinclair Skinner. It has several services including remittances and Bitcoin mobile wallet services – but for today, I will focus on its remittance services seeing we have this bond-cash-crisis. It would be nice to know how to remit money while incurring less charges; receiving it ‘on time’ and above all, receiving it in USD as opposed to bonds.

BitMari tries to address all the above concerns.

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Currently, BitMari only remits money from the United Kingdom and the United States of America to Zimbabwe. What happens when one sends money from the UK or the States is that the money is transferred into Bitcoin, sent to Zimbabwe then transferred back to USD so that the collector can collect it as was sent.

The Bitcoin bit is all in the background and neither the sender nor the receiver necessarily have to understand Bitcoin technology to use the service.

Currently, transfer charges are at 5% i.e. to send say $20, you need to pay an extra $1. They also have incentive fees; that is to say you get extra money for receiving from the diaspora. Their incentive fees are currently at 3% ( RBZ’s is 5% but BitMari shares the 5% between the receiver and the agent). Therefore, using the same $20 example; the receiver gets an extra 60c just for receiving that amount. Nonetheless, the incentive fee is paid in bond notes.

BitMari works in collaboration with the Agriculture bank of Zimbabwe aka Agribank. In order to ensure the promise that you will get your money once sent, BitMari keeps a float balance at the bank, in this case Agribank. This means even if the bank has no money, the BitMari account will always have some since they prefund their account with USD.

If you find this interesting or useful, you can sign up for the BitMari account here.

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10 Comments

  1. MacdChip says:

    Im not seeing why one have to go and endure long bank queues to get that money. Why would one do that?

    Western Union is offering the same service, usually there is no long queues and you get all your money in US dollars plus the 5percent bonus in bonds notes.

    I just dont understand what can motivate one to use bitmari, please explain maybe lm missing the logic here!

    1. @Theentreprenew says:

      Hi MadcdChip, there will be no long queues for collecting your remittances at Agribank. The sending fees are cheaper with BitMari, other services go as high as 15%. You get your money in USD and the 5% bond note incentive as well.

      1. MacdChip says:

        Does it mean this service is only available via Agribank, if so what is the planned roadmap to add more agents and banks?

        Is there a special reason its available only at Agribank?

      2. Ron263 says:

        Are there seperate queues for those collecting remittances and using the bank’s other services?

      3. Ron263 says:

        Are there seperate queues for those collecting remittances and using the bank’s other services?
        N

    2. Cynthia says:

      Does Western Union give bond coins like Moneygram?

      Moneygram does not even give you USD. All Bond coins!

  2. Steve says:

    Great idea. I like the way it charges the person sending the money rather than deducting the amount from the money to be received like other platforms I have used do. When is it coming to Kenya?

  3. Redeemer says:

    thank you for letting us know, that’s a good service.

  4. Stephen says:

    only 5% ? nice. I am definitely going to give this a try. I love that you receive your money in USD.

  5. Walter says:

    Wow this is a very convenient service! Thanks a lot for making it easier to receive funds from abroad. And using bitcoin too, it must be really secure.

Comments are closed.