M-Pesa, MTN Money to interoperate - TechCentral

M-Pesa, MTN Money to interoperate

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In a potentially groundbreaking development, MTN and Vodafone have announced that MTN Mobile Money and M-Pesa customers in East Africa will soon be able to transfer money to each other.

Vodacom and Safaricom users in Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique will be able to make international remittances with MTN users in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia, and in reverse.

MTN and Vodafone have agreed to “share best practice and work together to define the rules and standards of mobile-based remittances in Africa”, the companies said in a joint statement.

“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,” said Vodafone director of mobile money Michael Joseph.

“By working together, we will deliver cheaper, faster money transfers, improving the lives of many people living in the seven countries involved.”

Mobile money services have proved to be an enormous success in East Africa, particularly in Kenya where Safaricom pioneered the model with M-Pesa.

M-Pesa has also been a big success in Tanzania for Vodacom, a sister company of Safaricom. In both markets, traditional formal banking channels are not well developed.  — © 2015 NewsCentral Media

4 Comments

  1. Smells like collusion – combining forces to stamp out competitors. Reminds me of MTN and Vodacom in South Africa, and how they stymied the launch of Cell C by mutually hiking interconnect rates. If it were any other 2 operators involved, I’d scream congratulations from the hilltops.

    And no I’m not a negative Nelly. History has taught me well.

  2. I have a different take, this is networks starting to interconnect they way they do on voice. A very important step that they are thinking to interconnect on mobile money transactions as will help to entrench behavior even more.

    Banks must be nervous of a step like this………..

  3. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    If it’s going be like a mobile SASWITCH of sorts that eventually incorporates mobile wallets from the banks as well and allows one to withdraw and send funds to any ATM then that would help to entrench behavior more…

    …not sure if that would be the plan from the likes of those who would jump into a fist fight with OTT service providers; hey but who knows?

  4. The question for me is whether there will be interconnection fees and if there are, will they be modest enough for this to make a difference.