Mukuru aims for growth in Lesotho

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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.

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