In October MoneyGram and Safaricom announced they will partner to allow rapid money transfer from MoneyGram directly to M-PESA.
Today the firms launched a new service that enables consumers in over 90 countries outside Kenya to send money directly to M-PESA, with a move to make it easier, faster and more convenient for Kenyans living the countries to send money directly home.
“MoneyGram is excited to work with Safaricom to provide millions of customers with access to fast, reliable and secure options to send and receive money. Safaricom’s M-PESA is a global leader in mobile money and has helped increase financial inclusion in Kenya,” Pamela H. Patsley, MoneyGram’s chairman and chief executive officer. “As MoneyGram continues to expand its self-service product offerings, this activation with Safaricom is an important step forward in providing an exceptional consumer experience. We are working with our agents around the world to ensure this service is a success.”
Ms. Patsley, who is visiting Kenya for the first time, also applauded Kenya’s mobile money transfer progress which she said was a global phenomenon and a great success story. Customers have access to MoneyGram in more than fifty African countries, and the company is committed to supporting economic development across the continent through expanded walk-in and self-service offerings like the M-PESA service.
M-PESA has over 20 million customers in Kenya and the move opens up the possibility to tap into the over $1.7 billion sent home by Kenyans abroad every year.
“Over the last eight years, M-PESA has enabled nearly 70% of the adult population in Kenya to access financial services, up from 40% in 2007. M-PESA is enabling an increasingly secure and vibrant digital economy in Kenya. This new relationship with MoneyGram enables us to tap into remittances coming in from Kenyans living in other countries,” said Safaricom’s chief executive officer, Bob Collymore.
The use the 24 hour service, consumers can visit MoneyGram locations in 90 countries or MoneyGram Online to send funds to an M-PESA customer in Kenya in real time with SMS notifications whenever they receive the money.
According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), remittances from Kenyans abroad are part of the top contributors to gross domestic product and recorded a 20% increase in August 2014.