The recent pact between MTN Mobile Money and Vodafone M-Pesa to interconnect their Mobile Money Services, will let the two mobile phone giants offer cheaper money transfer service to their customers.
The continent’s top mobile telephony players are joining forces for customers of MTN Mobile Money and M-Pesa in East Africa will be able to transfer money to each other under an agreement between MTN Group and Vodafone Group to interconnect their mobile money services.
This interconnect collaboration between the region’s two biggest mobile money operators will enable convenient and affordable international remittances between M-Pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique, and MTN Mobile Money customers in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia, the mobile phone companies announced.
Under the terms of their Memorandum of Understanding, MTN Group and Vodafone Group will also share best practice and work together to define the rules and standards of mobile-based remittances in Africa.
“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. By working together, we will deliver cheaper, faster money transfers, improving the lives of many people living in the seven countries involved”, Vodafone Director of Mobile Money Michael Joseph says.
On his part, MTN Group Head of Mobile Financial Services, Serigne Dioum adds that, “after successful launches in Ivory Coast and Benin in West Africa, we are looking enthusiastically at the collaboration with Vodafone in East Africa. Together, we aim to build a scalable model that will accelerate remittance roll-out across the continent.”
The coming together of the two companies will see Vodafone, bring to the table its mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets.
As of December31, 2014, Vodafone had 444 million mobile customers and 11.8 million fixed broadband customers, the company said.
On its part, the MTN Group, which owns MTN Nigeria, is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
MTN recorded 223,4 million subscribers as at December 31, 2014, across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.