MPesa and Western Union partnering to make overseas cash transfers easier


In the wake of mobile money interoperability, MPesa has found more ways to expand its reach and tighgrab a larger share of the money transfer market. Safaricom has partnered with Western Union to make cash transfers overseas easier for MPesa users. This new deal was signed this Tuesday.

MPesa subscribers will be able to send and receive money from their mobile phones to individuals across the world, an expansion from the previously select 45 countries established in 2011. The firms had been working on the deal since July of 2017.

The partnership will see the more than 21 million of the globally-acclaimed mobile money service subscribers send a maximum of KES70,000 daily to family, friends and business partners abroad through the 500,000 plus Western Union’s agents in close to 200 countries.

Western Union’s regional vice president for Southern, East and Anglophone West Africa Richard Malcom said, “This is real a game-changer, a first one in the world for us,” Mr Malcom said. “Kenyans who have children studying abroad can now send them money directly from M-Pesa in case of an emergence such as medical.”

“M-Pesa is one of the greatest export. It has become part of our social fabric with 17 million customers now transacting on M-Pesa daily,” said Safaricom’s Chief Customer Officer Sylvia Mulinge said during the launch of the service in Nairobi.

Smartphone users on Android have to refresh their M-Pesa app to access the service under M-Pesa Global, while it may take up to four days from Tuesday for iPhone users to access it, Ms Mulinge said. Those with feature phones can access the service by dialling *840#.

The service will cost between a minimum of Sh100 for a transaction of up to Sh5,000 and Sh500 for remitting offshore more than Sh35,000, Safaricom said.