Vodacom Tanzania Plc has initiated the second phase of its global money remittance expansion scheme with the launch of the “Dunia Kijiji, Afrika Mashariki ni Yako” campaign in which it now allows for direct money transfers from M-Pesa to all bank accounts in the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda, as well as other mobile money wallets.
The development is an extension of the service – M-Pesa customers have to date been able to send mobile money to other networks including Airtel, MTN and Safaricom, but Vodacom has now extended the reach.
Vodacom Tanzania Plc M-Pesa Director Epimack Mbeteni said, “Today we are announcing a new functionality that enables Tanzanian customers to send remittances from M-Pesa to all bank accounts in East Africa, that is to Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. This is a significant addition to the current IMT portfolio.”
According to the telco, M-Pesa currently services approximately 240,000 users monthly who receive international remittances, however there remains a significant number of users who still use traditional bank transfers and other means of cash transfer.
The first phase of International Remittances started with Safaricom in Kenya back in December 2019, added more partners which granted M-Pesa one-way access to the world, allowing users to receive money from over 200 countries via partners including World Remit, Remitly, RIA, Mama Money, Master remit, Send wave and Paysend.
Mbeteni added: “This new facility means increased convenience since there will be no longer need for users to stand in line in banking halls; better security because there will no need for a ‘middle man’ to facilitate the transaction in the destination country as well as increased reach since users will benefit from M-Pesa’s network of 107,000 agents nationwide.
The “Afrika Mashariki ni Yako” campaign aims to educate the public about the new facility as well as encourage early adoption by merchants in the country.
Earlier this month, Vodacom announced that M-Pesa had reached 50 million active monthly users, 18 months after Safaricom and Vodacom launched the M-Pesa Africa joint venture to accelerate growth of the service across the continent.
M-Pesa Africa said its focus is to be “the largest Fintech and digital ecosystem across the continent.”
Vodacom added that M-Pesa became an even more important platform for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic with transaction volumes increasing 44% year-on-year in the first quarter of the current financial year. The number of transactions grew to 4.5-billion in the quarter – with a total transaction value of €63-billion.