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Tuma aims to fill gap in instant money ecosystem

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Tuma founder and director Philip Mngadi.
Tuma founder and director Philip Mngadi.

Tuma, a local Web-based money transfer platform, has locked in a deal with one of the big-five banks, which will see it expand its instant money ecosystem, says founder and director Philip Mngadi.

Introduced in October 2019, Tuma lets users transfer funds from any instant money wallet, such as eWallet, CashSend and Send-iMali, to any bank account in SA.

While Mngadi won’t disclose the name of the banking partner, he says the partnership will enable Tuma to integrate with that bank's instant money product.

The integration will automate Tuma’s back-end functionality, which will help with handling high volumes of transactions, he adds.

Furthermore, Tuma is looking to launch a better next version of its platform, which will be available on Android and iOS, as well as Huawei's app gallery.

Mngadi says: “Instant money services such as eWallet are fast becoming the preferred method of sending money between South Africans. Our market research showed more South Africans prefer to send money with the likes of eWallet and similar services. More than 44 million transactions, to the value of over R26 billion, go through eWallet annually.”

Despite the many instant money wallets available, the Tuma founder says the company realised there is a missing piece in the ecosystems puzzle. This, he points out, is the ability to transfer funds from any instant money wallet to any local bank account.

“FNB does this but it is limited to FNB's instant money ecosystem, as it is only possible to transfer funds from eWallet to a FNB bank account,” states Mngadi. “We found that users really wanted the ability to transfer funds from any wallet to any bank account and so felt we could fill the gap, especially because banks wouldn't do this themselves due to a lack of interoperability between them and their products.”

Mngadi says so far, his platform has processed over 2 500 transfer requests, with the bulk of these occurring in December.

He emphasises that Tuma tries to be complementary to the various banks' instant money products and does not compete with them.

“We complete them,” notes Mngadi. “The instant money products which are already in the market are built by the banks and enable customers to transfer funds to people using their phone number.

“The only way the receivers can access these funds is by going to an ATM to physically withdraw them. Tuma is extending that by enabling customers to transfer the funds out of the instant money wallets to any bank account locally,” he concludes.

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