Heard on the street

2015-02-02 07:00

There’s a new mobile money transfer service on the market. Mama Money is aimed specifically at Zimbabwean expats who want to transfer money to family back home.

Launched in Cape Town last month, Mama Money aims to compete with the likes of money transfer giants MoneyGram and Western Union, and claims that it can reduce money transfer costs by up to 270%.

Founder Raphael Grojnowski says the service is aimed at a low-income market with a monthly income of R3?000 to R5?000 a month. The transaction fee is a flat 5%, regardless of the amount being transferred. The daily transfer limit is R5?000 and the monthly transfer limit is R25?000. Registration for Mama Money is free.

Clients registering for the service in South Africa need to provide full Fica documentation – proof of identity, proof of address and proof of income, and they must have a valid South African bank account.

“The sender in South Africa simply provides Mama Money with the cellphone number of the recipient in Zimbabwe and the amount to be transferred. The recipient then has to take their identity document to their local Cabs [Central African Building Society] branch, which offers a product called textacash, and the money is immediately loaded on a mobile money card linked to their cellphone,” Grojnowski explains.

Mama Money is only available in Cape Town, but the company plans to roll out the service to the rest of South Africa soon.

SMASH-AND-GRAB PRECAUTIONS

Avideo of a smash-and-grab incident in Johannesburg recently went viral on social-media networks, and left many Gauteng motorists worried about their safety.

Steven Card of Alexander Forbes Insurance notes that these incidents are most likely to occur when you are stationary in traffic and in spots where criminals can make a speedy escape.

Card recommends that drivers take the following precautions:

»Lock all the doors;

»Avoid entertaining street vendors or people handing out flyers;

»Be vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious-looking characters;

»Keep all valuables, such as cellphones, handbags, laptops, iPads and briefcases, in the boot of your car;

.?If you must keep your phone in your car with you, make sure it is not visible and do not talk on your phone unless you are using a hands-free kit;

»Leave a large gap between you and the car in front of you. This will give you space to drive away if you need to;

»Install anti-smash-and-grab film on your windows; and

»If you don’t have the film on your windows, leave them slightly open to give the glass more resistance.

TALKSURE TRADING FINED R250?000

The Financial Services Board has fined Talksure Trading R250?000 after it found that the company was not acting fairly and honestly. Talksure call centre agents made the public believe that the company was sourcing insurance quotes from several different service providers and then giving the clients the best quote. However, Talksure Trading was only obtaining quotes from MiWay and referring clients to the financial services company.

PROPERTY MARKET TO STRENGTHEN IN 2015

The latest First National Bank Estate Agent Survey shows that the residential property market is likely to strengthen in the year ahead.

Property economist John Loos says one area of concern might be the perception by agents that buyers’ affordability levels are deteriorating. The percentage of agents believing that “income levels have kept up with prices” declined from 49% in the second quarter to 41% and 39% for the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

The average amount of time a property remained on the market before a sale was 12 weeks and three days in the last quarter of 2014, up slightly from 11 weeks and four days in the previous quarter. However, the percentage of sellers who had to drop their asking price to make a sale dropped from 86% to 81%. The average price drop was about 8%.

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