Mukuru is one of the largest money transfer providers in Africa and a leading Next Gen Financial Services Platform that offers affordable and reliable financial services to the emerging consumer. When Mukuru decided to incorporate a faster, more secure, and convenient service channel through WhatsApp Business Platform, it enabled more people in Africa to reliably initiate money transfers and access a range of other financial services products across the continent.
reduction in USSD usage
to date in savings with reduced USSD and SMS costs
of Mukuru customers use WhatsApp to initiate money transfers
increase in overall CSAT scores in self service channels, since implementing WhatsApp
Serving communities, one person at a time
Mukuru is a leading Next Gen Financial Services platform for Africa’s Emerging Consumer. With a foundation in safe, convenient money transfers, Mukuru has grown a wide range of products and services to help customers achieve greater financial security and a better quality of life.
Rapid access to vital financial services
Offering diverse services that improve the quality of life for financially excluded communities in Africa required Mukuru to find a faster, more technically efficient automated channel for messaging with customers. With a self sign-up component, customers can access services on a single channel while reducing the cost of operations for Mukuru.
Adding a fast, easy-to-use service channel
For migrants in financially excluded communities across Africa, wiring money or sending groceries for a loved one are urgent tasks that require rapid, reliable services. Over 8 million customers turn to Next Gen Financial Services Platform Mukuru to securely wire money so their families can pay for housing, medicine, food, education, and other necessities. To offer such a diverse range of critically needed services, Mukuru needed a clear, fast way to connect with its customers.
More automated approaches to transfers have become popular, but they come with challenges. For instance, many Mukuru customers rely on mobile banking apps that use the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) protocol. USSD is widely available across pre-paid mobile networks and doesn’t require an internet connection, but USSD-based transactions can fall out of service and fail to send SMS messages. Resolving an issue requires customers to call for support and wait.
Staying true to its belief that assisting financially excluded communities starts with one individual at a time, the company set out to further improve access to services by using WhatsApp to enable customers, including those who are unbanked, to manage money transfer requests. As one of the most popular communications channels in Africa, the new WhatsApp service gives customers even greater peace of mind that the funds they send home will arrive reliably and on time. Without the security Mukuru provides, many of these customers are left with slower, more limited options, sometimes even hiring other people to hand-deliver money or goods thousands of miles away.
Before Mukuru implemented WhatsApp Business Platform, customers had an extra step having to sign up on a different channel and then log-in to WhatsApp. With a streamlined sign-up option, customers enjoy a seamless, single-channel experience using WhatsApp - making them more likely to continue using the platform.
After a customer sends a message on WhatsApp, she’ll receive a response from a virtual assistant powered by WhatsApp Business Platform. The 24/7 virtual assistant presents a list of options to automatically create an account, select from 10 languages, and transfer money. If the virtual assistant can’t handle a request, it connects the customer to a live agent. Through WhatsApp Business Platform, agents see incoming requests and can manage multiple conversations via text to provide better, faster customer support.
WhatsApp utilization among Mukuru customers has increased dramatically and the associated impact is a more efficient process and service support for customers. Since the launch of WhatsApp API, overall customer satisfaction increased from 65 percent to 80 percent. WhatsApp enables a more refined engagement with the contact center, reduction in SMS's resulting in massive savings as well as a better service for customers on a richer, more stable channel.
Mukuru is fast becoming an industry innovator in integrating WhatsApp for money transfer services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mukuru had to pause field canvassing operations which served to spread the word about online transfers. During that time, 25 percent of customers made WhatsApp their sign-up channel of choice. WhatsApp use has grown as more people transfer money to support families impacted by the pandemic. This year alone, 42 percent of Mukuru customers have used WhatsApp to create money orders, up from 26 percent for all of last year.
As customers move toward WhatsApp to support money transfers, Mukuru is emerging as a major user of WhatsApp Business Platform across Africa.
Faster service, higher ROI
Introducing a faster, more efficient service channel through WhatsApp enables Mukuru to better serve customers sending money home to excluded communities. Mukuru helps these communities receive critical resources while lowering its own cost of business. Since implementation in 2018, Mukuru has experienced:
- 12 percent reduction in USSD usage
- Over 1 million USD in savings to date with reduced USSD and SMS charges
- 42 percent of Mukuru customers use WhatsApp to initiate money transfers
- 25 percent of Mukuru customers list WhatsApp as their sign-up channel of choice
- 15 percent increase in overall CSAT scores in self service channels, since implementing WhatsApp
“The WhatsApp Business Platform lets us add a high-touch service that benefits financially excluded communities. No matter where people are, they can initiate a critical wire transfer with WhatsApp and interact with Mukuru in their home language. Our application is an innovative use of a popular, existing communications tool to eliminate inefficiencies of protocols like SMS and USSD. The approach strengthens our position as a pioneering, next-generation financial services provider serving Africa’s emerging consumers.””