How to send money overseas without a bank account

Many people in South Africa and around the world need to send money overseas to support loved ones. However, navigating international money transfers can feel daunting, especially without a traditional bank account. Fortunately, there are several reliable and convenient ways to send money abroad, even without one. 

This guide explores your options, highlighting the advantages of using Mama Money for a smooth and secure experience.

How can I send money overseas without a bank account?

Many people living in South Africa need to send money overseas to their families and loved ones. This often seems more complicated to do without a bank account, but there are ways to send money home in a safe, reliable and quick way. Mama Money is here to help facilitate those transfers. 

All you need is your phone to get started, and with the Mama Money app, you can send international money transfers to over 50 countries worldwide, such as Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Mozambique, Malawi, and many more without a bank account. 


Mama Money App:

Mama Money offers a user-friendly mobile app that simplifies international money transfers. Here's how it works:

  • Download the app: It's readily available on your smartphone's app store.
  • Register in minutes: Simply enter your name, phone number, and upload a picture of your ID and a selfie for verification.
  • Send money with ease: Choose your recipient from your contact list or add a new one. Enter the amount you want to send and select "cash" as the payment method.
  • Convenient cash payment: Pay for your transfer using cash at thousands of participating retail stores like Pick n Pay, Shoprite, or Spar. Just show the cashier the reference code provided by Mama Money.
  • Fast and secure delivery: Your recipient can collect the money instantly at a nearby Mama Money partner location (e.g., Western Union) by presenting a valid ID and the unique token code they receive via SMS.

You can then pay for your transfer with cash at thousands of retail shops like Pick N Pay, PEP, Spar, Makro, Cambridge Foods, Shoprite, Flash, Kazang and many more. Just go to the till or money market counter and show them the reference code that Mama Money sent you and pay for your transfer. It will then be immediately sent to your recipient. 


Can I send money overseas without a bank account?

Yes, you can! With Mama Money, you can send money directly to mobile wallets, international bank accounts, or cash pickup, even if you don’t have a bank account in South Africa. Previously it was not possible to send money overseas without a bank account, but with improvements in banking and financial technology, it is now possible to send money overseas without a bank account. 

Send money to Mobile wallets. 

This is a popular way of sending and receiving money without a bank account. Mobile wallets are mainly free to use; however, fees may apply when using additional features. For this process to work, the recipient must have a cellphone number registered with mobile wallet services such as Mama Money, which allows funds to be transferred through cell phones. Once the sender sends the funds, the recipient immediately gets the funds loaded to their mobile wallet, like M-Pesa, Orange, Airtel, Tigo, MTN, and many more. 

The receiver needs to have an active registered mobile number in the receiving country to collect the funds. They also need to ensure that the number is correct; otherwise, the money will go to the wrong wallet. In this case, the service provider is not liable for money sent to the wrong wallet. 

If you're in South Africa and would like to send money to an MTN mobile wallet in Africa, use Mama Money as an easy, affordable way to transfer your money.

Send money for cash pickup.

You can send money to thousands of cash pickup points in over 50 countries using the Mama Moneyapp. Once you have paid for your Mama Money transfer, your recipient will receive an SMS with a token code and where to collect the cash from one of Mama Money’s many banking partners such as Western Union and many more. At the collection point, the recipient must show a valid ID to collect the funds and show the token code they were SMS’d by Mama Money. 

Send money directly to bank accounts.

With Mama Money, you can still send to international bank accounts even if you don’t have a bank account in South Africa. 

When sending money with the Mama Money app you can choose how you want your recipient to get the money. Select the bank account you want to send money to when creating your recipient in the Mama Money app. So, even if you pay for your transfer in cash, the money will arrive directly in your recipient's bank account

Exploring Alternative Options:

While Mama Money offers a streamlined solution, other options exist for sending money overseas without a bank account:

  • Online Payment ServicesPlatforms like PayPal and Google Pay allow money transfers through their apps or websites. You'll need to enter the recipient's details (email or phone number) and the amount you want to send. Keep in mind that your recipient might need to sign up for the service and link a prepaid debit card to receive the funds.
  • Money Transfer Services: Established services like Western Union have a long history of facilitating international money transfers. You can send money online, by phone, or in person at one of their numerous agent locations.

Choosing the Right Option:

Choosing the correct method to send your money without a bank account can seem challenging. You must ensure your money is sent in the best way for both yourself and the receiver. 

  • Fees: It's crucial to compare fees associated with each service. Costs can vary depending on the service, the amount you send, and the chosen transfer method.  Investigate to find the most affordable option for your needs.
  • Delivery Time: Consider the urgency of your transfer. Mama Money offers instant cash pickup, while bank transfers through other services might take up to 48 hours.
  • Convenience: Evaluate the ease of use and accessibility of each option. Mama Money's app-based approach streamlines the process, while other options might involve additional steps or require visiting physical locations.

Your money is safe with Mama Money.

Mama Money is a safe transfer facility licensed by the South African Reserve Bank. Mama Money ensures that all your personal information is protected and confidential.

Mama Money ensures your funds get to where they need to be as quickly as possible. With our services, our customers can provide financial support to their family and friends back home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Transfers to mobile wallets and cash collection are sent within minutes. Transfers to bank accounts, on average, take 5 hours to be received but can take up to 48 hours to reflect, depending on the recipient's institution. 

You can also track your transaction progress via the Mama Money app. 

Why would people want to send money without a bank account?

The main reasons for people not having a bank account are not meeting the requirements for a bank account, such as needing more money to open an account, not being able to pay the unpredictable bank charges and the correct documentation. 

Mama Money app allows you to view live rates to ensure you send your money at your best possible rate and time.

We're here to help send more money home without a bank account.

Need help? Mama is here.

To learn more about how to send money from South Africa to several other countries worldwide, follow Mama Money and learn all about our international money transfer services via





Should you have any questions that are not covered above, please contact Mama via WhatsApp at +27661041097.

The Mama Money Card

The Mama Money Card is a new way to manage your finances with ease and security. This card offers a hassle-free solution to access and use your money, redefining convenience for all our users. Discover all the fantastic features and benefits of the Mama Money Card by visiting our detailed blog post. For any queries or more information, feel free to reach out to us directly on WhatsApp. Your financial management just got a whole lot easier with Mama Money!