From mobile money transfers to mobile goods transfer

In the midst of the increasing popularity around mobile money transfers, let’s introduce you to a mobile goods transfer option.

Of course not sending the physical goods, but an electronic platform that provides an easy and affordable way to facilitate the buying of goods in one area and the collection in another across and within African countries’ boarders. It has a catchy and innovative name to it, Tumira which means, “to send” in Shona and several other African languages.

Tumira has identified a need in the society, to find easy, alternative ways of sending goods by just the click of a button. The growing rate of migrant workers is the foundation of this innovative solution. Consequently, this factor of migrant workers contributes to an increase in the informal employment environment. Whereby people in this environment have no formal way of receiving income and therefore do not enjoy access to services like banking, since one needs to have an identity document (ID), proof of residence and proof of income to transact. These are requirements stipulated by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (fica). This particular population mostly own an ID, not the other documents.

Tumira’s target market comprises of the unbanked, informally employed and informal home dweller, but also the middle income to high income audience that are too busy to be travelling to take goods back home. Then again, the absence of transacting money at banks has never stopped the existence of transactions completely. An independent study conducted by Fin-Mark Trust in 2012 estimated that a total of R11, 2 billion is remitted to every year from South Africa to SADC countries. The study also found that 68% of the total amount remitted to, was done through informal channels namely; relatives & friends and bus & truck drivers. These large sums of money sent through such channels are sometimes costly and unreliable. Sometimes the money does not reach its destination or gets spent on something else other than its original purpose. Tumira in this case offers people a sense of security.

Anyone who has access to a cellphone can use the exciting services. All one needs to do is register by dialing *120*128# charged at normal USSD rates. Transactions with Tumira are very affordable and require no paperwork, and most importantly are inclusive and safe. Tumira is currently in collaboration with Medix Pharmacy outlets in Zimbabwe. The reason why Tumira has started by offering pharmacy vouchers is to begin with the product line, which helps save lives especially in vulnerable economies where the sick are most affected. Tumira is however engaging with other Retailers to expand the product line to other categories like groceries and building material. It will be launching very soon, and looks to take people by surprise.

Tumira is an innovation like no other, no paperwork, no hassle, and more comfort. Not only will cellphones be used for socializing, emailing, receiving calls, exchanging media etc. they will also be used for exchanging goods. Tumira is now live and customers can already buy medicine and other pharmacy products for their family in Zimbabwe whilst they are in South Africa.