With the recent cash crisis that has hit Zimbabwe, it has become more difficult for you to send money from Zimbabwe to South Africa. It’s become difficult because most of the companies that make the transactions easier like Western Union and Mukuru are now strictly accepting USD. Well, Study 263, a new startup, aims to help you send money to SA through Bitcoin even if you bring Bond notes.
How to send money from Zimbabwe to South Africa using Study 263
Study 263 is able to make these transactions in the following simple steps. First, you have to send the money through EcoCash to one of their agents in Zimbabwe. The agent will then buy Bitcoin and send it to one of their agents in South Africa. The SA agent will then convert the Bitcoin to Rands and transfer the money to the beneficiary account within 2 days.
According to Study 263, the whole process will take no more than 3 days to complete and they will charge 3% commission for transactions over R1000, 4% for transactions between R500 to R1000 and 5% for transactions below R500.
So do they really accept Bond Notes and is EcoCash the only option?
Well, you might be wondering if they really accept bond notes. Given how you can cash in Bond notes into your EcoCash and just send it to them and they accept, it means that they accept them and they confirmed that when we spoke to them. With regards to the second part of the question, EcoCash is not the only way to send money from Zimbabwe to South Africa via Study 263.
Study 263 says that they do have a bank transfer option and they are also looking into having other mobile money platforms like Telecash and Netteller come onboard their platform. If you’d like to transfer the money to them via bank transfer, you’ll have to request for that option from them as the details are usually provided upon request.
The startup also recommends that you use EcoCash as it is cheaper for you and for them, and the transfer between you and their agent is processed much more quickly unlike in the case of bank transfers that sometimes take longer or even fail to go through. Now, that all sounds good but there’s something that Bitcoin is popular for, it’s value is not constant so it can increase during the process or worse decrease. What happens then?
Bitcoin’s value is not constant, isn’t that a big risk for you to take?
Bitcoin is well known for being the pioneer of cryptocurrencies but it’s also known for its ever-changing value. Let’s take a look at a scenario that could occur and really affect you sending money to South Africa through Study 263. Imagine you send their agent $50 and they buy Bitcoin equivalent to that amount then suddenly the value of Bitcoin drops and when they convert it to Rands, it is now less than $50 according to the exchange rate of USD to ZAR of that day.
You wouldn’t want that to happen hey. Unfortunately, no-one can independently control the value of Bitcoin as it is determined by the market. So will you settle for less than $50 as long as some money gets there? Or would you rather have Study 263 put up the loss in order for your relative in South Africa to get the full amount you sent their agent?
What if the value of Bitcoin skyrockets and now the situation seems to be in your favor given how the Bitcoin they initially bought converted to ZAR now gives US$80 if you convert the ZAR to USD according to that day’s exchange rate. Would you want them to send your relative the $80 even though you sent their agent $50? We’d all want that but here’s what Study 263 says concerning such situations.
This is basically the risk that as an organization we have decided to reduce, we started off providing screenshots and statements of every step of the transaction to the client. The clients were receiving more money than they would have calculated and so we had no problems and we just took our charge after the transaction. – Study 263
Now by telling the client how much they can possibly receive we have essentially done away or rather reduced the risk of us having to pay off a large discrepancy as well as gain more if the rate fluctuates positively. The market predicting team is responsible for mitigating that risk. The rates that are given by the predicting team aim to give the client the best possible outcome whilst not exposing the organization to high risk should that rate drop. – Study 263
So should you send money to SA through Study 263?
Well, it ultimately depends on what kind of risk you’re willing to take and whether it will be worth it for you. You could just buy the Bitcoin yourself from BitcoinFundi, a local Bitcoin exchange, then you send it to your relative’s Bitcoin wallet. They will have to find a Bitcoin exchange in South Africa for them to sell the Bitcoin and get Rands.
Even though you can see that it is possible for you and another person to do all this all by yourselves without needing a third party, it requires for both of you to be familiar with buying, storing and selling Bitcoin.
Imagine trying to tell your grandmother in South Africa that you’d like to send some money to her using Bitcoin. Sure, that sounds far fetched but you get the idea, you’ll have to get someone to understand Bitcoin. Fortunately, this is where Study 263 comes in place, they take away all those headaches for you and you just have to send them money, trust them and it should arrive in your relative’s bank account in South Africa if all goes well.
I say that because Bitcoin’s value may just drop to $0 during the process but then again, according to Bitcoin experts, that’s highly unlikely to happen anytime soon. So let us know your thoughts about sending money from Zimbabwe to South Africa using Study 263 and Bitcoin.
Would you do it? If yes why would you consider this option? If you wouldn’t do it, what concerns do you have that will stop you? What other things would you want Study 263 to do that would either help you send money using them or get you to consider them as an option.