An ever-increasing number of employers in various industries across South Africa, including agriculture, are moving away from cash and towards money cards as a means of paying their employees each month.
The move towards such payment cards is being driven by the risks associated with holding large amounts of cash and by the convenience and timesavings that money cards offer. One of the challenges South African farmers encounter is the significant number of unbanked labourers in the workforce. This is particularly true of migrant workers who often do not qualify for a bank account in South Africa. Such situations require the farmer to pay workers in cash. But the reality is that cash places a lot of risk on employers.
“When a business deals in cash, such as collecting, transporting and holding cash, they instantly become a target for criminal activity. But this is the situation for many farmers in our country who employ people who don’t have bank accounts. They are putting themselves and their employees at unnecessary risk by paying salaries in cash when there are alternatives available,” comments Mike Cook, Head of Card at Mukuru, a financial services company that focuses on providing products to low-income earners across Sub-Saharan African.
Additionally, crime is not the only negative outcome when it comes to paying salaries in cash. Employers lose valuable productivity time counting and dispersing cash payments. Employees also experience higher anxiety about carrying their salary around with them.
This anxiety reduces the productivity of employees is as their minds are not fully engaged in the task. Should an employee fall victim to crime this may result in extra costs for the employer who now either repays a salary, provides a loan or covers medical expenses.
Money cards are gaining in popularity as they promise to remove cash salary payments from an employer’s business. However, not all money cards have the necessary functionality to do this conveniently. Mukuru’s Money Card is a good example of a card that can.
“Paying money into a Mukuru Money Card is as easy as doing an EFT. Payment can be made from any bank, or an employer can use their existing payroll system. The Mukuru Card works with what an employer is already using,” adds Mike.
The Mukuru Money Card also allows the cardholder to save money safely, swipe at local retailers at no additional cost, buy airtime and electricity from their mobile phone, withdraw cash at ATMs and retail outlets such as Shoprite, Checkers, Pick n Pay, Usave, Spar, Game and Makro. Cash deposits are also possible. The benefits to employers and employees are substantial.
Mike Cook further added: “Our card base has grown by 50% in the last year. The number one reason given for this uptake is that people want to receive their salary on the card. We live in a world where it is just too risky to be handling cash unnecessarily. People are feeling it.”
Call 067-019-0438 for more information or to have someone from Mukuru visit your workplace.