JOHANNESBURG – UK-based online money transfer company Mukuru.com has launched money transfers from South Africa to Botswana.
This corridor has traditionally been dominated by South African banks with senders having to pay high transfer costs.
The company, which has offices in Cape Town, was founded to help make remittances into Africa hassle-free and largely focused on Zimbabwean clientele.
Its expansion is progressing despite a highly regulated market dominated by a few big players.
Michael Cook, marketing manager at Mukuru, said the company charges a standard flat rate of 10%. He said Mukuru clients in SA make use of their mobile phones to place an order by dialling *130*567# or use the Mukuru app or mobi site. They then pay for their order at any major retailer such as Pick n Pay, Shoprite or SPAR.
Their recipients in Botswana will then be able to collect cash instantly from any SMH Botswana Bureau de Change branch. SMH has three branches: Two are located in Gaborone at Game City and Airport Junction shopping centres and the third is located in Kasane.
“We are really excited about this launch and are looking forward to provide the same great service to the Tswana community and other Diaspora that will benefit from it . . . I am sure the Tswana people would like what we have to offer,” Cook said.
A study commissioned by the FinMark Trust and conducted by DNA Economics found that about 3,3 million migrants from other Southern African Development Community (Sadc) countries, working in SA, send about R11,2 billion home each year.
However, SA is one of the most expensive countries from which to send low-value remittances, specifically to ts neighbouring countries in Southern Africa.
The World Bank says an average rate of 18,69% was charged to send the equivalent of $200 from SA to neighbouring Sadc countries. The global remittance price average is 8,9%.
The World Bank said last year that rates of up to 29% were still being charged on money transfers between some countries, despite assurances by the Group of Eight at the L’Aquila summit in 2009 to halve the world’s mean remittance fee to 5%.
According to the World Bank such a drop in fees would save poorer countries as much as $16 billion a year. Remittances generate three times more money every year than the total global aid budget, the World Bank said.
– BD Live