Mukuru has been at the forefront of
technology launching a multitude
of cutting-edge initiatives
designed to solve problems for the African
This year has seen it launch Mukuru
Groceries – a service that is giving SADC
based customers the ability to send groceries
to their families and communities back
home in Zimbabwe.
At a time when many families are struggling
to obtain basic commodities, Mukuru
Groceries will help support Zimbabwe’s
large diaspora in their quest to send critical
financial resources to families back home.
The company has also formed a partnership
with WorldRemit, a leading global online
money transfer service, to facilitate money
transfers to Zimbabwe from across the
globe. The partnership will be instrumental
in bringing world-class financial services
to Zimbabweans and generating new
synergies for African financial inclusion.
The company, which has processed just
under 50 million transactions, focuses on
mobile technology and comprehensively
caters for customers that have the most
“On the one end of the customer
engagement channels we make extensive
use of USSD strings. It’s zero-rated so it’s
free to the end-user,” said Jury.
“This has been complemented by other
technologies as they have become
available. We were one of the first users
of the WhatsApp business channel in
Africa, launched in early 2019, which is far
simpler to use, there’s less spooling and
timeout, and it’s a cleaner interface for
The company makes use of .Mobi sites and
apps that can be used on smartphones,
it also utilises .Net, PHP, Android, HTML,
has deployed AWS for hosting technology.
“The core engine of the transactional
capabilities can work on one bar of edge in
northern Malawi and we’ve tried to ensure
that a customer journey can be enabled,
regardless of the type of device that they
have,” said Jury.
We asked Andy Jury, CEO of Mukuru, further
questions about the company’s operations
and deployment of technology.
Can you tell me about the
There are large migratory patterns where
people move across borders in search of
economic opportunity – generally they
congregate in big urban hubs, such as
Johannesburg, Cape Town, Gaborone
IN AFRICA, THERE’S THIS MASSIVE
INFORMAL REMITTANCE MARKET
WHERE MONEY GOES HOME IN BUSES,
IN COFFEE TINS, HIDDEN IN SOCKS AND
OTHER CLOTHING ITEMS.
Many of them are financially underserved
or underbanked, and the only ways that
they could get their money home was either
to stand in the queue with the traditional
money transfer operators, get treated like
a transaction, get charged high fees for the
amounts that they wanted to send, or send
it via informal channels that have high real
and opportunity costs.
In Africa, there’s this massive informal
remittance market where money goes home
in buses, in coffee tins, hidden in socks and
other clothing items.
There’s a big opportunity cost, it’s fraught
with risks, it’s unregulated – you’re dropping
money off at a bus station and two weeks
later, it might get to the destination, but
it might not and the entire time there is a
Our initial focus was looking specifically at
formalising that informal market and it
has turned out to be a pretty large