Mobile banking: M-Pesa heads to Uganda
M-Pesa users can now send money to the East African nation.Kenya's Safaricom is expanding the reach of its mobile banking service M-PESA, following a partnership with mobile operator MTN. Users will now be able to send money to Uganda.
Safaricom's director of financial services Betty Mwangi said the move will enable "individual and business customers to enjoy convenient, affordable and reliable mobile money services across the borders".
The partnership is expected to increase trade and currency flows between the two countries, benefitting over 22 million M-Pesa customers and more than five million MTN customers.
"We are confident that the cashless revolution that started in Kenya almost a decade ago, will now unlock not only intra-African remittances but also serve as a catalyst for trade and economic growth in the region," said Dare Okoudjou, the chief executive officer of MFS Africa, which built the infrastructure between the two networks.
Money will be sent in Kenyan shillings and received in Ugandan shillings, based on the prevailing exchange rate as at midnight.
M-Pesa was launched in March 2007 through Safaricom. It allows users to deposit, withdraw and transfer money through a mobile device. It can also be used for Diaspora remittances, retail payments and public transport fares.
It is also available in Tanzania, South Africa, Egypt, Lesotho and Mozambique.