SA’s Mama Money expands to Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania

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South African fintech startup Mama Money, which offers remittance services between South Africa and Zimbabwe, has expanded its money transfer service into Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania.

Launched in January 2015, Mama Money provides an inexpensive money transfer service for the South Africa-Zimbabwe corridor.

Having been listed as the cheapest remittance service for sending money from South Africa to Zimbabwe by the World Bank, the startup has now expanded to Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania.

In Nigeria, Mama Money is connected to 25 banks and the VCASH mobile wallet. In Ghana it has partnered MTN Mobile Money and Airtel Money, while in Tanzania its launch partners are Vodacom M-Pesa, EzyPesa and Airtel Money.

It will also expand into Mozambique, Malawi and Kenya by April, and has earmarked a country outside of Africa for entry later this year.

“Our platform, software and service solutions are developed for African and emerging economies where the rise and growth of mobile money is coupled with increasing demand for affordable legal money transfer. Mama Money has developed a sophisticated platform capable of processing money transfers reliably and securely,” said Mama Money co-founder Raphael Grojnowski.

He said trust and cost were the startup’s biggest differentiators, with total fees charged on a sliding scale with a maximum fee of five per cent.

“Central to our success in the South Africa-Zimbabwe corridor is the Mama Money registration agent network, the inbound and outbound call centre, our vendor network within South Africa to accept payments in cash or electronically, and successful integration with Zimbabwe’s financial institutions and mobile money deployments,” Grojnowski said.  

In South Africa, people can register with the 650 Mama Money agents on the ground or with its primary retail partner PEP.  

Mama Money is a gold member of AlphaCode, a Rand Merchant Investments (RMI) club for fintech startup entrepreneurs. RMI’s senior investment executive and head of AlphaCode Dominique Collett said MamaMoney’s rapid expansion was testament to its ability to service a fundamental need of migrant workers in South Africa.

“This fintech startup is making significant strides in the area of financial inclusion by lowering the costs of financial services. It has a real impact on real people’s lives,” she said.

The startup is licensed by the South African Reserve Bank, meaning people do not need a bank account or ID document to use Mama Money. No smartphone or internet is required, and the platform can be accessed without airtime.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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