Mukuru, one of the largest remittance companies in Africa and a leading next-generation financial services platform, has announced that its Mukuru Card has been activated for online purchases in South Africa, allowing holders of the card to take part in the e-commerce revolution, even if they don’t hold traditional bank accounts.
Mukuru CEO Andy Jury says one of the promises of fintech is financial inclusion, and so making the Mukuru Card available for online purchases made sense.
“The pandemic has seen a big shift towards online payments at a range of retailers and service providers. As part of our belief in enabling Africans to take control of their finances digitally, providing access to a wide range of retailers and service providers as diverse as Takealot, Mr Price, Dis-Chem, Uber and Afrihost, among many others, opens more doors,” Jury says.
In May 2021, a World Wide Worx report found that online retail in South Africa grew 66% in 2020, valuing the sector at more than R30-billion. Mukuru customers now have access to this shifting retail environment simply by adding their Mukuru Card as one would add a debit card for online payments. “People must be empowered to take control of their own destiny,” says Jury.
“This is not idealistic, but rather a sound philosophy, and certainly from Mukuru’s perspective it influences business decisions in how we build a customer base that has access to a broader suite of financial services making use of our tools as links in a broader value chain. Enabling our customers to take part in online purchases is another way we aim to achieve this goal,” he says.
Jury adds that fintech is vital to financial inclusion, but that the end goal should look beyond the technology itself. “The long-term goal should lie in providing an ecosystem that empowers users on a progressive journey to financial inclusion. It is incremental, and each step needs to be accompanied by consumer education and upskilling, as the interventions become more financially sophisticated.”
The global pandemic has shifted shopping behaviour and is largely credited with the large increase in online retail in South Africa. With the fourth wave in South Africa likely to gain steam throughout December and January on the back of the much-publicised Omicron variant, this shift to digital shopping is likely to accelerate even further.
“There is a risk that as the world races full speed into the online space that large segments of the population are left behind and the digital divide widens. It’s for this reason that Mukuru made it a top priority to provide access to the online commerce revolution for our customers,” says Jury.
Mukuru is a leading next-generation financial services platform that offers affordable and reliable financial services to the emerging consumer in Africa.
With over 50 million transactions to date, our core was built providing international money transfers and, from this base, we’ve developed a set of services to address the broader financial needs of our customers.
We are a business that puts the customer at the centre of everything we do, and for that reason we serve clients across physical and digital channels, by any means of payment (cash, card, wallet) as well as a range of engagement platforms including WhatsApp, USSD, contact centre, app, website, agents, and a branch and booth network.
Mukuru has been listed as one of the leading 150 cross-border companies globally in the 2020 FXC intelligence Incumbents vs Challengers in Cross-Border Payments.
Mukuru won three awards in 2021:
- In July, Mukuru took the top honours for Most Innovative Financial Services Provider South Africa 2021 at the World Economic Magazine Award Winners 2021 as well as at the International Business Magazine Award 2021.
- In April 2021, Mukuru took the top honours for Most Innovative Online Remittance App – South Africa, 2021 at the Global Brand Awards 2021.
Further information can be found at www.mukuru.com/the-mukuru-group.
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