GLOBA SMS money transfer to service Africa’s unbanked population

Started just five years ago in SA as a small company, Globa, now an international money transfer and mobile payment platform, continues to grow rapidly changing every stone unturned in the money transfer sector. The firm is now looking to go global after taking over the whole of Africa first.

Initially developed to provide the unbanked community with a means of making payments, sending and receiving money without the need to get a bank account,GLOBA is currently in negotiations with a bank in Kenya and is already operating in Ghana, SA and Namibia. It also has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Johan Meyer, one of the founders told HumanIPO firms can use Globa to pay staff as they wouldn’t need a bank account to get their money plus you don’t need to carry the risk to do cash payments weekly or bi-weekly.

Globa recently integrated the Zunguz money transfer on Facebook allowing social enthusiasts to send gifts on the social site without exchange of bank details to foster security.

“We are the wallet system behind ZunguZ. Globa is the Zunguz processing engine and wallet, we provide our users with the ability to send, receive, ask, withdraw money via SMS, WAP or the Internet. But because of the fact that most of our users don’t have smart phones or access to the internet we found that our SMS solution is the most popular solution.

“We started Globa to provide our clients with the ability to transfer money between the USA and Mexico but because both of us are from Africa we wanted the product in Africa as well. At the end, it turned out that the African market was much bigger than we ever expected.” Meyer said.

The firm is currently doing bulk payments for its more than 7000 individual vendor users to up to 2000 in a single transaction apart from the companies using Globa as a processing engine and wallet, like Zunguz.

Johan told HumanIPO that GLOBA offers an extensive list of vendor tools developed to give vendors the ability to integrate GLOBA into their online and mobile products and thus enabling any developer or vendor to turn his mobile phone into a mobile storefront.

Apart from using SMS options Meyer says their recently launched USSD solution is also picking up. The firm also has agents but mostly in the USA and Mexico and in South Africa.

Meyer says that with over R12-billion still unbanked in South Africa, according to the Banking Association of SA, cash is still a vital form of exchange. And 2.5 billion adults, just over half of world’s adult population, do not use formal financial services to save or borrow, 2.2 billion of these are underserved adults live in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The service is also a first for South Africa’s more than 70 percent population who are active mobile phone users. South Africa expects to have more than 50 million people by the end of this year.

Meyer says the majority of Service Providers employ a huge percentage of the unbanked population in South Africa. He adds that there are strict legislations associated with opening a bank account in the country of which the major implication is proof of address.

Majority of these employers have more than 500 employees, individuals working for them and 85 percent of these employers are thus forced to withdraw cash from banks and ATMS to enable them to pay the wages due every Friday.

Johan Meyer and Kenny Andam founded Globa in 2007.

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