Mukuru’s bulk payment platform poised to extend financial inclusion across Africa


Mukuru, a next-generation fintech platform that enables simple, cost-effective financial services across Africa, Europe and Asia, says its enterprise payment platform (EPP) is poised to make a meaningful difference across Africa as it is designed to make financial experiences easier, safer and more accessible through the distribution of bulk payments.

Michael Scott, Group Head of Commercial at Mukuru, says their EPP provides aid organisations, governments and businesses with a tech-based solution to transfer funds and pay recipients through bulk cash payments quickly, easily and securely.

“Much of Africa is still a cash economy. Our EPP is about creating value that meets people where they are, making money readily and easily available to our customers through digital capabilities or cash transactions. To us, liquidity goes beyond having cash in hand. It also encompasses aiding in the easy and efficient movement of money at an affordable cost,” says Scott, adding that Mukuru’s substantial experience and footprint in Africa means it can extend its financial inclusion enablement from its current base of over 10 million customers to include organisations, staff and aid beneficiaries.

He explains that Mukuru’s EPP provides a next-generation payment platform that’s accessible on any device, even with low connectivity in a remote village. “True financial inclusion is not only about improved access to basic financial services for Africa’s emerging consumer, but providing solutions that maximise value retention across the customer journey. There remains a gap in the provision of these locally relevant solutions across Africa, which Mukuru has positioned itself to fill. We pride ourselves in offering a transformational experience for our customers, whether accessing our services from the latest smartphone in bustling Johannesburg, or testing the limits of mobile network access on a basic mobile handset in rural Malawi.”

He adds that Mukuru realises that financial inclusion comes with basic financial literacy, which is why Mukuru builds this into its services.

“We have agent teams dispersed across geographies, going out into the communities to assist customers with the service. We also have over 160 information centres in Africa that act as support structures, differentiating us from other companies and allowing us to be fast and accessible to all. We have the capability of rapidly scaling up on-the-ground presence, drawing on our vast experience on the continent,” he says.

A disaster, whether natural or man-made, can create a humanitarian crisis anywhere in the world. In Africa, where many regions have poor connectivity, remote villages and financially underserved populations, the ability to disburse funds in bulk, and quickly, is crucial.

“Mukuru proudly partners with leading Humanitarian Aid organisations, governments and international NGOs across Africa, to provide critical social protection and welfare support. Whether a longer-term project or emergency intervention in response to an acute crisis, our partners need to provide their beneficiaries with timely access to funds. Mukuru’s EPP is fast, safe, and reliable in distributing bulk payments for this very purpose. Once the transaction is placed via our platform, recipients are notified via SMS, or a bespoke method agreed with our partner, and have immediate access to their funds,” explains Scott.

Financial inclusion depends on accessibility, which is why Mukuru has made the process of setting up the EPP as simple and fast as possible. Once Mukuru onboards a partner it is a simple process to create remittance orders and send each person a unique redeemable voucher via their mobile phone. “Our technology allows for full traceability,” says Scott,  “which gives aid organisations full visibility over their transactions and an audit trail that confirms the identity of each beneficiary, and where and when they redeemed their funds. Partners can be confident that only their intended beneficiaries have collected, which greatly assists them when reporting back to international donor organisations.”

Scott says that the company does not compromise on security and data privacy. “As a digital money transfer provider, Mukuru EPP offers customers security that is certified and vetted by regulators. We comply with data privacy and strict requirements set out for financial services providers. Our product is highly secure while remaining accessible.”

Mukuru started its journey in the remittance business more than 18 years ago, and today more than 10 million people use the platform because it continually innovates with tech-based solutions that evolve to meet the needs and circumstances of its customers. The EPP platform builds on this by providing an accessible, safe and fast bulk payments platform for organisations across Africa.

Staff writer