International remittance service, Mukuru, has announced the launch of a new mobile app that provides money transfer and communication services to Mukuru subscribers. The app, which is available for both smartphones and feature phones enables users of the service to send money track money transfer transactions, do card balance enquiries, buy airtime for friends and chat with both other Mukuru users and Mukuru support.
According to the announcement, in future Mukuru subscribers will be able to buy electricity credit for their family back home via the app. You will remember that Mukuru is modelled to help people in the Diaspora transfer money and other things back home.
We’re finding the chat component of the app quite interesting and we’re keen to try it out. It’s the first time we are hearing of a money transfer service having a fully featured messaging component. According to Mukuru, users can send each other pictures via the app, and even do group conversations, we are guessing, in a way similar to WhatsApp, WeChat and other clones. If you try the app out, please do let us know your chatting experience in the comments.
It’s also great that services that are mobile network independent (i.e. those that don’t need to beg the operators for USSD access) are emerging, especially if they support feature phones like this app does. No one has a monopoly on the internet so the bickering about access can end.