Mukuru aims for growth in Le­sotho

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

REMITTING money across na­tional bor­ders is of­ten a chal­lenge to most peo­ple work­ing out­side Le­sotho. How­ever, the in­tro­duc­tion of se­cure money trans­fer plat­forms like Mukuru is grad­u­ally eas­ing this chal­lenge.

Ac­cord­ing to Mukuru Mar­ket­ing Man­ager, Michael Cook, the money trans­fer ser­vice had made sat­is­fac­tory in­roads since its es­tab­lished in Le­sotho last De­cem­ber.

Mukuru en­ables peo­ple in South Africa to trans­fer money to six coun­tries within the re­gion, namely Le­sotho, Zim­babwe, Malawi, Zam­bia, Botswana and Mozam­bique.

The com­pany was founded in 2009 to en­able re­mit­tances to be has­sle-free, af­ter not­ing that mi­grants of­ten opted to use taxis or bus driv­ers to send money home in a bid to by­pass the oner­ous re­quire­ments by money trans­fer com­pa­nies. Mr Cook said the com­pany was happy with its op­er­a­tions in Le­sotho, al­though he would not be drawn to dis­close fig­ures.

“Un­for­tu­nately, our com­pany pol­icy pre­vents us from dis­clos­ing vol­umes. But we are happy with the up­take of the ser­vice and re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back from the Le­sotho com­mu­nity,” he said in an in­ter­view with the Le­sotho Times this week.

Mr Cook said the com­pany had man­aged to es­tab­lish a lo­cal of­fice which en­abled di­rect col­lec­tion for re­cip­i­ents in Le­sotho.

“We have opened our own col­lec­tion point in Maseru that does in­stant cash col­lec­tions. Within a minute of us re­ceiv­ing pay­ment from South Africa, the cash is avail­able for col­lec­tion in Le­sotho.

“The col­lec­tion point is lo­cated in Ma­sia Street, just off Air­port road, Sea Point, Maseru (Be­hind Se­fika Shop­ping Cen­tre).”

He said Mukuru op­er­a­tions were not af­fected by the 30 June 2016 clo­sure of Vo­da­com South Africa’s M-pesa ser­vice. Mr Cook in­di­cated that Mukuru would con­tinue part­ner­ing with Vo­da­com Le­sotho in its mo­bile money ser­vice.

“Our ser­vice to Le­sotho is fully op­er­a­tional. Our re­la­tion­ship with Vo­da­com Le­sotho is sep­a­rate from Vo­da­com South Africa. Mukuru cus­tomers can still send money into any Vo­da­com Le­sotho M-pesa wal­let.”

He said plans were also afoot to en­able peo­ple out­side South Africa to re­mit money.

“Cur­rently, only peo­ple lo­cated in South Africa are able to send money to coun­tries such as Le­sotho. We are look­ing to ex­pand the ser­vice to al­low peo­ple in Le­sotho to send money to other coun­tries,” said Mr Cook.

To reg­is­ter with Mukuru, prospec­tive clients need to pro­vide valid iden­tity, sources of funds and proof of res­i­dence doc­u­ments. Upon reg­is­ter­ing at any of the 5 000 pay-in points within South Africa, par­tic­i­pants then dial *130*567# to be­gin trans­act­ing.

Re­cip­i­ents can col­lect the money from agents in their coun­tries who in­clude PEP, Pick’ n Pay and Sho­prite stores among oth­ers. In Le­sotho, Vo­da­com Le­sotho sub­scribers can also ac­cess funds through their M-pesa ac­counts.

Mukuru en­ables peo­ple in South Africa to trans­fer money to Le­sotho, Zim­babwe, Malawi, Zam­bia, Botswana and Mozam­bique.

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