I hope all of you are doing fabulously well and are preparing to #finish2017strong. Today’s topic is something VERY relevant for all African students recalling from my own experience: money transfers. This probably has caused MANY headaches, screams and sometimes tears for many. The struggles of sending/receiving money home affordably, quickly and reliably were SUPER real especially for Africans-so you can imagine my joy when I found out about Maxicash.
When I left Congo 13 years ago, the country was in a bad shape and very few people had a local bank accounts (my parents included). Just like everyone else, hard cash was mostly how we went about our business… So when I first came to SA, I travelled with enough cash to last me about 1 year (school fees, rent and pocket money) and you can imagine the stress I had knowing very well that if I lost that money and/or it got stolen I would be screwed literally!
Fast forward a few years, Money Gram (through Standard Bank in South Africa) and/or Western Union made it easier to send money abroad. However, besides the fact that the transaction fees are relatively high-I can count on my one hand out of the MANY times I received money, when it was a pleasant experience…bleh! Their approach is very simple: everyone is a suspect of fraud and they make sure you run around for your own damn money (or your parents’: Same difference, we are Africans…lol!).
One thing that almost ALWAYS got me was the fact that most Congolese people have 3 names (I actually have 4) and you needed to ensure that the first and last name were the same… And if for some reason the person who helped your parents back home got it wrong (bear in mind French vs. English): abeg, you were screwed! I remembered this one time my dad had to go back to the Money Gram agency 3 times on the same day! Courtesy of a not so great till clerk at Standard Bank. Fast forward a few years, things got easier when the DRC Goverment made it mandatory for everyone to be paid electronically. After that, my parents started transfering money from their Congolese accounts. While this became the cheapest option, it came with its own challenges as it requires a 3-7 days delay (and the money has sometimes gone awol in the system a few times, lol!) .
The good news is that this needs not be the case for you anymore in you are a Congolese in South Africa: you almost NEVER have to go through that again. How? Well, Maxicash is a mobile transfer money app developed by a group of Congolese techpreneurs that facilitate transfers between South Africa and DRCongo. All you have to do is download the app (available in your app store) and register your bank account. Even sweeter is the fact that they cap their transaction fees at R70 (plus a minor commission, ~$5) regardless of the amount of monies sent. I might be wrong, but you simply cannot beat these rates currently esp. since the money is available immediately and it is all VERY discreet (super important for us Congolese folks…lol!).
So what yáll waiting for? Call up your folks, let them know about Maxicash and let the download begin!
I hope you found this useful & stay awesome until my next post 🙂