In a very welcome move today, Vodafone and MTN announced that customers of M-Pesa and MTN Mobile Money in East Africa will be able to transfer money to each other after the wo signed an interconnection deal, bringing convenience and affordable international remittances between the customers.
According to Vodafone Director of Mobile Money Michael Joseph: “Our agreement with MTN to connect our mobile money wallets in East Africa is a fantastic example of co-operation and interoperability between competing mobile operators. By working together, we will deliver cheaper, faster money transfers, improving the lives of many people living in the seven countries involved.”
The service is available for M-PESA customers in Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique, and MTN Mobile Money customers in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.
MTN Group and Vodafone Group will also share best practice and work together to define the rules and standards of mobile-based remittances in Africa.
MTN Group Head of Mobile Financial Services, Serigne Dioum said: “After successful launches in Ivory Coast and Benin in West Africa, we are looking enthusiastically at the collaboration with Vodafone in East Africa. Together, we aim to build a scalable model that will accelerate remittance roll-out across the continent.”
Tigo allows cross-border transactions across between Rwanda and Tanzania as well as between other providers in Tanzania. Airtel introduced this move too late last year. Safaricom announced a similar move to allow Kenyans to send money to Tanzania via M-PESA. MTN also allows money transfer between its services in Ivory Coast and Benin.