Mukuru has now integrated the WhatsApp Business’s API with its system. That means its now possible to ‘create orders’ for sending money (and many other things) via WhatsApp for Mukuru account holders in South Africa. First off: let me explain what’s called ‘creating an order’ based on Mukuru’s dictionary.
‘Creating an order’ is when a Mukuru Account holder initiates a transaction (such as sending money) online with their app or website and on the phone through the USSD. For the sending of money to be successful, the user will then have to go to any Mukuru outlet and deposit the money in their Mukuru account and then the money will be sent automatically.
How will it work?
According to a video posted by Mukuru, an account holder’s WhatsApp number will be linked to their Mukuru account so that when they ‘create their orders’ on WhatsApp it will be as good as creating them on USSD. So essentially you create your order on WhatsApp (rather than on USSD) and settle the payment at a Mukuru pay-in outlet.
Any Mukuru customer in any country where Mukuru is present can interact with Mukuru via WhatsApp. The icing on the cake is the functionality that enables customers to interact with Mukuru in many languages such as French, Shona, Ndebele, Chewa etc. And “customers can easily request to chat with an agent in their home language”.
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Why Mukuru integrated with WhatsApp
Since Mukuru is not an MNO and it is using USSDs for people to “create orders” it certainly is paying a fee to use the USSD platform (to the MNO). So with this move, it may be a step of trying to migrate people from the USSD platform to the free Whatsapp platform where it won’t have to share its revenue with anyone. Given that WhatsApp is quite handy and cheap to use Mukuru, account holders may migrate to WhatsApp.
It seems the use of WhatsApp in the financial services sector in Africa is on the rise, considering that not so long ago Absa introduced WhatsApp banking and also Nigerian banks have joined the bandwagon. This trend of integrating WhatsApp with banking platforms stems from the fact that WhatsApp is readily available and easily accessible to a growing number of Africans so it’s easy to get customers to use banking or financial services on the platform. By leveraging on WhatsApp, financial institutions are spared having to go through the pains of developing an app and striving to get users on-board to use their financial services.