Standard Bank South Africa's cash transfer solution to Zimbabwe hits R1million mark

Standard Bank South Africa has processed over R1million in cash transfers to Zimbabwe through its person-to-person money transfer offering, launched in partnership with OK Zimbabwe Ltd last year. "The real time money transfer solution was introduced in December last year, and since inception we have processed over 1 300 transactions, with a value of over R1 million," says Itumeleng Monale, head of Channel Design and Development at Standard Bank South Africa. The solution allows people residing in South Africa to send money instantly to Zimbabwe via Standard Bank's secure, cost-effective, simple and accessible Instant Money International transfer system. Zimbabwean residents can then receive and collect their money at any of OK Zimbabwe's 53 stores nationwide. The recipient in Zimbabwe does not need to have a bank account to receive their money.

"Currently, the OK First Store in Harare sees the majority of cash-outs performed. However we have also seen compelling cash-out volumes in some of the smaller stores in outlying areas such as their Rusape and Chinhoyi stores," Ms Monale says. The service is currently available online to any Standard Bank Internet Banking customer. There are plans to expand the offering to ATMs and to Standard Bank's accessible AccessPoint network in future. Standard Bank is also already working to expand Instant Money International to other southern African countries.

Transfers cost R50 per transaction, and up to a maximum of R1 000 can be sent per transaction. "This solution is incomparably safer and more reliable than most informal methods, such as using a friend or taxi driver, to carry money in cash on their behalf," Ms Monale says. "The growth we have seen in the four months since introducing the product shows that it is clearly meeting an important need," she says. "There is good growth in first time users, but what is even more encouraging is the high proportion of repeat users, in excess of 70%, who are making use of Instant Money International to regularly send money to Zimbabwe."

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