Vodafone and MoneyGram have teamed up to enable consumers to transfer funds directly from around 200 countries to the millions of users of M-Pesa. This service will be launched in key markets during the second quarter of 2014, with additional roll-out planned throughout the remainder of the year, according to a press release.
The agreement will allow consumers who visit MoneyGram’s 334,000 agents across the globe to send funds directly to M-Pesa accounts. MoneyGram customers can also transfer money to an M-Pesa user through moneygram.com or via a mobile app, available on iPhone, Android and Windows 8 phones.
M-Pesa – which allows customers to pay bills and withdraw, transfer and deposit money easily – is now available in the following countries – the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Fiji, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania. Additional markets are due to launch M-Pesa 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 account1. 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.
Michael Joseph, Vodafone Director of M-Pesa, said: „There is huge demand for sending funds back to family and friends in your home market and an estimated $90bn2 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.”
Alex Hoffmann, senior vice president of global product management and emerging channels at MoneyGram, said: „We’re excited about the opportunity to leverage our powerful platform to expand our reach to these digital channels. This agreement furthers our goal of joining with fast and reliable mobile wallets so consumers may send money for life’s essentials anywhere and any way they want, simply and conveniently.”
Developed by Vodafone, M-Pesa had nearly 16 million active customers as of 30 September 2013 and approximately 165,000 authorised agents worldwide. A customer can buy airtime and pay for bills, such as electricity and water as well as groceries.
Many other businesses are using the service to allow their customers to pay them easily and safely. Additionally in Kenya, Safaricom and Vodafone recently launched a savings and loans product in partnership with the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).
The service has experienced significant growth and its active customers make in excess of €900 million worth of transactions per month.
Vodafone is one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies by revenue with approximately 419 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets as of 31 December 2013. Vodafone has equity interests in telecommunications operations in nearly 30 countries and around 50 partner networks worldwide.
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