This cross-border money transfer project is the outcome of FinMark Trust continuous advocacy for cheaper official remittance channels in the SADC region. It is a result of intensive consultations with the South African Reserve Bank, Shoprite South Africa and Shoprite Lesotho, as well as Capital Bank in South Africa to provide the people of Lesotho working and residing legally in RSA to have access to an affordable, convenient, safe and reliable service.
The consultations were spearheaded by FinMark Trust, subsequent to the Central Bank of Lesotho having approved that this initiative be explored and implemented on a pilot basis. The Ministry of Finance is working tirelessly with the development partners to promote innovative financial inclusion options for the lower income groups of society.
The purpose of this initiative is to assist Basotho who are legally working and residing in South Africa to send money home through an affordable, convenient, safe and real-time channel using a chain of Shoprite, U-save and Checkers stores across South Africa. This service is targeting the unbanked workers who have been using informal ways and most often than not; high risk and high cost channels to send money home to their families.
This project intends to accommodate the need for affordable, cost-effective and low-value money transfer from Lesotho to South Africa through using an already established and approved system and service provided in Shoprite and Checkers stores money market counters across South Africa.
Given that this is a pilot project, one of the major objectives is to identify any regulatory constraints that will prohibit future initiatives of a two-way money transfer (sending and receiving money) into and out of the country as well as the other countries within the Common Monetary Area.
This money transfer service has been approved by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and any money transfer can be made at any Shoprite store in South Africa to be received at any Shoprite Store in Lesotho. Each transfer costs the sender a fixed amount of M9.99 while the receiver receives the money for free on provision of a valid identity document (ID card, Passport or voter?s card). There is a daily limit of M5,000 to be sent and received and a monthly limit of M25,000.