African fintech Mukuru has extended its partnership with Pargo Click and Collect and announced that its many users can now receive their remittances via WICODE at any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave store.
Mukuru CEO Andy Jury says that financial inclusion starts by giving people the tools to put them in control of their own destiny and benefit from the positive digital footprint that they then build up.
“We need to empower people to help themselves,” says Jury. “After our successful pilot in the Western Cape we have now expanded our partnership with Pargo to reach 100 Clicks store sites, where users can collect their Mukuru Card. It’s about removing obstacles for people where delivery may be exclusionary.”
Lars Veul, director and co-founder of Pargo, agrees that the partnership is aimed at making financial services accessible. “Our mission is to create accessible delivery for anybody in Africa, which is why a partnership with Mukuru aligns with us perfectly as Mukuru is premised on giving people access to services they may previously have been excluded from. By leveraging our vast network of Pargo pickup points, Mukuru has access to a direct route to market, close to where their customers live and work.”
The first phase included a roll-out in the Western Cape, and in the second phase this has been extended to 100 Pargo pickup points in Clicks stores across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Once this phase has proven successful, there is likely to be roll-out across Pargo’s network which is made up of about 3 000 pickup points and growing.
The importance of making it easier for customers to collect their Mukuru Card cannot be underestimated, says Jury. “This card is designed to drive financial inclusion. It allows users to receive their salaries, save money, send money to other regions, swipe for free at retailers, buy airtime and electricity, pay for DSTV and withdraw and top-up their cash. This is vital as their behaviour builds up a digital financial behaviour footprint that will open the doors to further financial products,” says Jury.
Jury says that, while Africa generally and South Africa specifically has made great strides in foundational levels of access to financial services, there is still a long way to go. “With a methodical mindset, innovation and strategic partnerships, companies can go a long way towards radically shifting the environment over the next few years.”
He says that extending how Mukuru users can receive their remittances through WICODE at any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave store is a good example of leveraging partnerships for broader reach. “Obviously reach is vital, but it is equally important to us that we are accessible where our customers live, work and shop,” he says.
“The reason this is special is because it allows us to fulfil our mission of making the use of our products as easy and convenient as possible, giving people the tools to take control of their financial journeys.”