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Fintech Mama Money expands Malawi reach with TNM partnership

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A South African fintech company, Mama Money, has announced a partnership deal with Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) to expand its cross-border money transfer and banking services following a similar deal in Zimbabwe last month.

The partnership in Malawi will allow Mama Money customers to send money to customers using TNM's mobile money service, TNM Mpamba, for cash collection at over 40,000 locations across Malawi, with no cash out fee for the recipient.

Mama Money quoted research from the Finmark Trust which estimates that monthly remittance flows from South Africa to Malawi are over US$20 million through both formal and informal channels, but the fintech company said that South Africa is one of the most expensive countries to send money from.

"In 2015 the average cost of sending money from South Africa was 14%. This is the same year that Mama Money launched with a fee of just 5%. Today, the average cost of sending money from South Africa is 7%, which is much closer to the worldwide average of 6%," Mama Money said in a statement.

"We have made a lot of progress in bringing down the cost of money transfers, but there is still more we can do to support the Malawian community in South Africa. We want to reduce the cost even further and offer a super reliable service. Our partnership with TNM will help us achieve this and we're extremely excited to see the impact this will have for people who need an easier way to send money to Malawi," said Mama Money CEO Nicolas Vonthron.

Mama Money facilitates money transfers to over 50 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, serving more than 720,000 users.

The fintech's key markets for money transfers include Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It also offers banking services and money transfers to South Africa from Europe and other regions.

TNM Mpamba's GM, Christopher Sukasuka, said that the Mpamba network covers over 90% of Malawi and the operator is continuously expanding its network and agent coverage.

TNM is the biggest mobile network in the southeastern African country, controlling about 56% market share at the end of 2022, according to statistics from market research company Omdia, a sister company of Connecting Africa.

Airtel Malawi followed with 43% market share and the smallest operator, Access Communications, serviced only 0.5% of mobile customers.

Zim connection

In January 2023 Mama Money also announced a deal with AFC Commercial Bank in Zimbabwe which allows its customers to send money for cash collection at 45 locations across Zimbabwe.

Mama Money said that estimated monthly remittance flows from South Africa to Zimbabwe range between US$30 million to US$60 million and account for over 10% of the country's GDP according to the World Bank.

"Together, Mama Money and AFC Commercial bank are improving access to critical financial services in underserved communities in both South Africa and Zimbabwe by making it easier, faster, and more affordable to send and receive money," Mama Money said of the Zimbabwe deal.

"Our goal when the company started was to bring down the cost of money transfers, we feel that we have achieved this, and now want to reduce the cost even more as we expand and launch our services in more countries around the world," added Vonthron.

Related posts:

*Top image is of Mama Money CEO Nicolas Vonthron (Source: Mama Money).

The Staff, Connecting Africa

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