Vodafone and MoneyGram have partnered to enable consumers to transfer funds directly from around 200 countries to M-Pesa subscribers.
This service will be unveiled in the second quarter of this year in key markets and will spread in other regions throughout the remainder of the year.
In the service, MoneyGram’s customers globally will be able to send funds directly to M-Pesa accounts. MoneyGram customers can also transfer money to an M-Pesa user through its website or mobile apps.
M-Pesa is available in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Fiji, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania. Additional markets are due to launch during 2014.
The World Bank estimates that more than half of all inhabitants in the countries in which M-Pesa is available do not have access to a traditional bank account. With most of these inhabitants belonging to low-income rural areas and becoming increasingly reliant on cross-border transfers, mobile money provides a simple and low-cost method for geographically dispersed families to bank and transfer funds.
“There is huge demand for sending funds back to family and friends in your home market and an estimated $90bn per year is transferred to M-Pesa markets from around the globe. Our partnership with MoneyGram provides the most extensive global network and greatest number of access points for consumers wishing to transfer funds to M-Pesa users,” said Michael Joseph, Vodafone Director of M-Pesa