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Review: Mama Money international money transfers

Send cash, mobile money and bank account transfers to more than 15 countries in Africa and Asia.

  • Good for transparent fee structure and multiple transfer options.
  • Not so great for large transfers.

Mama Money exchange rates and fees

There are two factors to consider when calculating the cost of your Mama Money transfer: the exchange rate and the transaction fee.

In terms of the exchange rate, Mama Money claims to give its customers the same exchange rate as it gets from the bank. Compare the rate Mama Money quotes you with the current mid-market rate to find out what sort of exchange rate margin applies to your transaction.

A flat fee of 5% of your transfer amount applies to each Mama Money transaction. The larger your transfer, the higher the fee will be.

Available currencies

Mama Money offers transfers in a range of currencies, including:

  • BDT Bangladeshi taka
  • GHS Ghanaian cedi
  • INR Indian rupee
  • KES Kenyan shilling
  • NGN Nigerian naira
  • PKR Pakistani rupee
  • UGX Ugandan shilling
  • USD US dollar

What types of transfers can you make with Mama Money?

Mama Money allows you to send money to an overseas recipient in multiple ways. You can send:

  • Cash transfers. In some countries, your recipient can pick up the funds you send from their nearest cash collection point operated by one of Mama Money’s transfer partners.
  • Mobile money transfers. The next option is to send money straight to your recipient’s mobile wallet.
  • Bank account transfers. You can send funds directly to your recipient’s overseas bank account via Mama Money. This is a safe and simple option but also slower than other methods.

However, please note that the available payout methods vary depending on where you are sending funds.

How long does a transfer with Mama Money take?

Transfer processing times vary depending on where you’re sending money and the transfer method you select.

However, once it has received payment, Mama Money aims to pay out transfers to recipients within 24 hours.

What payment methods does Mama Money accept?

You can pay for your Mama Money transfer in three ways:

  • Via electronic funds transfer via online or mobile banking
  • With a cash deposit at shop locations across South Africa
  • Using funds from your Mama Money Payroll Green Card

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 day

Is Mama Money safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Government regulated.
  • Established: 2013.
  • Customer support: Phone and email.
*According to Mama Money on 27 February 2020.

Mama Money is licensed by the South African Reserve Bank to provide international money transfer services. If you want to send a transfer with Mama Money, you’ll need to provide proof of ID and proof of address in line with FICA regulations. You’ll also need to select a BOP category for your transfer in line with reporting regulations.

How does Mama Money make money?

Mama Money makes a profit by charging a fee on each money transfer you send. This fee is calculated as a percentage of your transfer amount.

How to register an account

You’ll need to sign up for a Mama Money account before you can send any funds. You can do this by visiting your nearest Mama Money outlet or any PEP Store, or you can register straight from your cellphone by completing the following steps.

How do I make an international money transfer with Mama Money?

You can send money overseas with Mama Money by completing the following steps.

  1. Log in to the Mama Money mobile app.
  2. Create an order and enter your recipient’s name and cellphone number. Alternatively, choose a recipient you’ve already added to your account.
  3. Enter the amount of rand you want to send and remember to check the fee that will apply to your transaction.
  4. Make an electronic payment or pay cash at a Mama Money agent or retail partner.

What is Mama Money?

Founded in 2013 and launched in 2015, Mama Money aims to make it easier for African and Asian expats in South Africa to send money home to family and friends. The company was created by Raphael Grojnowski and Matt Coquillon and is based in Cape Town.

In a nutshell


  • Multiple transfer options. Depending on your transfer destination, you can send mobile money, cash and bank account transfers with Mama Money.
  • Pay with cash or from your bank account. You also get the convenience of paying for your transaction using the most convenient method for you – cash in-person or an electronic transfer from your bank account. You can also send money directly from a Mama Money Green Card.
  • Transparent fee structure. Mama Money is upfront about the flat percentage-based fee that applies to all transfers.


  • Limited number of transfer destinations. Some other money transfer services allow you to send funds to a wider range of destinations.
  • Fees on large transfers. The percentage-based fee means that fees on larger transfer amounts can get expensive.

How does Mama Money compare to other services?

How do the exchange rates and fees of Mama Money stack up against those offered by other money transfer services? Enter the details of your transaction into the table below to find out.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 60 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.068 USD
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 2 days ZAR 0.00 0.068 USD
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 250.00 0.068 USD
Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
EUR 8 3 - 5 days EUR 3.00 0.068 USD
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 2,000 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.068 USD
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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