Financial Technology

Financial Technology

May 05, 2010

Shaka Mobile Launches Mobile Money Transfer to Diaspora Africans in the U.S.

Rajani Baburajan

Shaka Mobile, the first prepaid mobile service for African immigrants in the U.S., announced a new service called Mobile Money Transfer or “MMT.”

Mobile Money Transfer was launched in partnership with MFunds Global Payment Solutions, a global commerce and financial solutions company. MMT will complement the company’s wireless voice and cross-border airtime top up services, making it easier for our subscribers to stay in touch and support their family/friends back in their home countries, company officials said.

Diaspora Africans, who are using Shaka Mobile prepaid mobile phone in the USA may now send and receive money straight from their mobile phone, the company said. Diaspora African customers in the U.S. will receive a "primary" card and can order "family" cards that they can send to their friends and relatives.

With MMT, Diaspora Africans can also load money onto their primary card account via direct deposit, transfer from a checking or savings bank account, and with cash through selected merchants.

With this facility, Diaspora Africans have the ability to send money to the family cards from their mobile phone through the WAP or SMS messaging. Transactions are processed in real-time through MFunds Global Payment Solutions' secure platform. They will be notified immediately to sender and receiver by SMS.

“We are pleased to partner with Shaka Mobile to offer innovative services and expand our footprint to the Diaspora Africans in the US. And we are looking forward to building a custom MMT eco-system for this niche market,” Jim Hammer, president, MFunds Global Payment Solutions, said.

This service, according to Dhidha Timona, president, Shaka Mobile, is offering an unmatched value proposition to Diaspora Africans. According to Timona, Diaspora Africans send approximately $40 billion to their home countries annually.

Both companies are building a Mobile Money Transfer eco-system in key corridors for the Diaspora Africans based in the US. Mobile Money Transfer has been gaining a lot of traction in Africa and the under banked populations worldwide.

Shaka Mobile also announced that it signed an agreement with TransferTo to launch a cross-border top-up service. This service is designed to enable African, Shaka Mobile prepaid mobile phone, and Mobile Money Transfer service users in the USA to recharge the prepaid mobile phone of their relatives back home.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight