South Africa’s Mama Money has joined forces with Western Union, the world leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments. The partnership enables Mama Money customers to send money to their loved ones around the world via Western Union’s Global Network.
“When the April lockdown hit, we saw a massive drop in remittances leaving South Africa due to the restrictions on movement to paying for money transfers and uncertainty. Remittance outflows for certain countries dropped by 90%,” Mathieu Coquillon, co-founder of Mama Money says.
“However, we’ve seen a very swift recovery since May as economic activities began to resume.”
Since 2017, Mama Money has grown by over 10 times over a three-year period starting with six employees in 2015 to over 120 staff members today. This strong growth is attributed to how the company has drastically reduced the cost of remittances through an easy-to-use mobile app that helps foreign nationals in South Africa send money home to their families.
In the beginning, Mama Money remitted only to Zimbabwe, now the fintech company’s footprint covers more than 50 countries, providing services to Africa, Asia and Europe.
“Our average fee is around 3% but we have dynamic pricing which means if you send more per transaction the fees are reduced and can be as low as 0.1%,” says Coquillon.
The partnership with Western Union is set to fast-track Mama Money’s growth in the international money transfer business.
Soon, the company’s more than 500,000 customers in South Africa will be able to send money from their phones for payout in over 200 countries and territories around the world through Western Union’s extensive network.
Western Union’s open platform strategy will broaden Mama Money’s reach and enable international cross-border money movement in minutes, through its core cross-border assets.
“Western Union’s robust and reliable network, coupled with Mama Money’s easy-to-use and reliable digital service, is a highly strategic partnership with massive potential for tapping into a broader remittance market especially for the unbanked population,” says Coquillon.
Mohamed Touhami El Ouazzani, Regional Vice President, Africa, Western Union says: “Innovative collaborations such as these will continue to shape global business models while enhancing customer experience and retaining their loyalty.”
“It is an integration of our strengths as we continue to drive connections by enabling enterprises to scale their business offerings worldwide, leveraging our money movement platform,” adds Ouazzani.
How does it work?
Mama Money’s mobile app makes international money transfers easy. It allows customers to quickly register using just their phones by uploading pictures of their ID, passport, refugee status or asylum documents. Customers can then start sending money abroad once approved within 24 hours.
To send money, customers can make payments directly from their bank account or pay for their order at any major retailer in South Africa such as, Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers, Cambridge, Boxer, Makro, and Game.
The Mama Money app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and customers can also send money via USSD by dialing *134*542#.