Mama Money had a good 2017. In October last year they announced business tripled in size since March that year and they had reached 100 000 customers. They also introduced a South African first, an online registration process using its app – taking a selfie which is approved by the Financial Intelligence Centre and the South African Reserve Bank.
Mama Money’s technology and innovative social business model cemented its market position as an inexpensive and trustworthy money transfer operator for the SA-Zimbabwe corridor. This experience provided a solid launch pad to extend Mama Money into other countries.
In March last year they announced that since their launch two years ago, they have expanded the money transfer service into Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania and that they would be expanding into Mozambique, Malawi and Kenya by April. It had also earmarked a country outside of Africa for entry later in 2017.
We spoke to the co-founder of what is quickly becoming one of the leaders in the mobile payment space on the continent, Raphael Grojnowski, to find out their plans for 2018, and why they are keeping a close eye on Zimbabwe.
Q: How do you see mobile payments developing in the coming year?
I think we’ll continue to see innovation in the mobile payment space. Particularly in the traditionally underserved market, with cellphone payments making a big impact on this sector.
Q: What are your plans in this regard?
There has been a change in Zimbabwean leadership. We expect great economic growth, stability and hopefully the liquidity challenge there will pass. This, in turn, will result in a significant increase in our mobile payments for that corridor.
Mama Money currently sends to Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, and India.
Our immediate plans for expansion to new markets include DRC and Mozambique. 2018 will be a great year of big things.
Q: What are some of the developments you are hoping for in the coming year?
First of all, we hope for more stability with the Rand.
There is continuous streamlining of the regulatory framework. We are big fans of the new FIC Amendment Act for instance. We believe that this is a big step forward for South Africa in moving to a risk-based approach to customer due diligence.
Q: In 2017 Mama Money introduced the innovation ‘Fica with a selfie’. Can we expect any more innovative ideas like this in the future?
Yes, absolutely! We aim to improve our FICA process with a selfie even more in the future through automated activation. We’ll continue to adjust and update our app accordingly.
In our target market, there are not enough bespoke financial services options. There really isn’t much choice and Mama Money hopes to overcome this challenge and make it that little bit easier to be a migrant in South Africa.
Mama Money is looking to enter more financial industries. Watch this space…