Moneybookers opens up Mukuru’s remittance system to European customers
Today sees the global launch of Mukuru.com, an innovative money transfer service set up by UK-based Zimbabweans as a way to help their friends and relatives struggling to cope with the crisis back home, where a loaf of bread now costs 1.3 million Zimbabwe dollars.
Mukuru.com’s innovative service allows anyone outside of Zimbabwe to remit value to friends or relatives struggling to cope with hyperinflation, which has now risen to over 13.2 billion per cent. Mukuru.com delivers a ‘TXT coupon’ to the recipient’s mobile phone, which can then be redeemed for actual goods across a network of local stores, banks and petrol stations.
The global launch has been made possible by a partnership with Moneybookers, one of Europe’s largest online payment systems. As a result, Mukuru.com can now accept payments online and via mobile SMS in 35 different currencies, allowing its users to buy essential goods such as petrol, food and mobile airtime for individuals directly.
The service has already seen rapid growth as the value of traditional money transfers can fall dramatically by the time the recipient has collected the money and made it to the store to buy essential items. Mukuru.com already has 20,000 subscribers, with 1,500 new customers joining every month. It currently processes over 400 transactions a day.
Having been set up only recently by childhood friends who moved to the UK from Zimbabwe, the service has become a powerful lifeline for Zimbabweans. Thanks to the accelerating rate of mobile phone adoption in Africa, Mukuru.com’s secure SMS-based delivery system is now the most effective way to send remittances directly to individuals in Africa. UK based Mukuru.com also provides much more competitive rates than traditional services as well as a more localised service. Indeed, Mukuru.com’s coupons are increasingly becoming a currency in their own right.
The plight of those in Zimbabwe has been extensively reported by media all over the world and Mukuru.com believes that its new global service will dramatically increase the ease of remittance support. Even relatively small contributions can make huge differences in a country where hyperinflation and food shortages are a feature of daily life.
The International Association of Money Transfer Networks has recently recognised Mukuru.com’s success by awarding it the title of Most Innovative Company in Money Transfers.
Rob, Managing Director of Mukuru.com, said:
“While we’ve been processing a significant number of remittance orders to relatives back home, we’ve been restricted by the number of countries we can accept payments from and the range of payment methods on offer. Setting up bank accounts in each country individually would have been an expensive and laborious process, but thanks to the unique network of local European payment systems that Moneybookers provides, we have effectively transformed ourselves into a global organisation overnight.”
Mukuru.com was founded by an aspiring rock musician and a friend he has known since childhood, both of whom recently moved to the UK from Zimbabwe, and has rapidly become a powerful lifeline for Zimbabweans. Thanks to the accelerating rate of mobile phone adoption in Africa, Mukuru.com’s secure SMS-based delivery system is now the most effective way to send remittances directly to individuals in Africa. Mukuru.com also provides much more competitive rates than traditional services as well as a more localised service, with local dialect used throughout the transaction process and call centre staff from Zimbabwe. Mukuru.com’s coupons are increasingly becoming a currency in their own right.
Mukuru.com’s new global service will accept payments from across the world and deliver them directly to individual mobile users in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.