M-PESA users can now send money to another country from their phone

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M-PESA users in Tanzania and Kenya can send and receive money using the mobile money service from today, without having to use alternative services that incur significantly higher costs.

Tanzania and Kenya are currently M-PESA’s biggest markets, boasting over seven million customers and around 18 million through the Vodacom Tanzania and Safaricom Kenya mobile networks respectively.

“We have looked into the hurdles that our customers need to overcome in order to send and receive money across to our neighbours in Kenya and have come up with a safe, secure and convenient way to do so,” Vodacom Tanzania’s managing director Rene Meza said in a statement.

According to Vodacom Tanzania, the cost for sending $50 between the two countries through M-PESA will be around 1% of the transaction plus an umnentioned foreign exchange fee. The money transaction process will be the same as sending money locally in both countries.

“Even before the money is sent, the [Tanzanian] customer will be shown the Kenyan Shillings equivalent value of the money that the customer in Kenya will receive,” Meza explained. “The currency conversion will happen immediately and the money will be available instantly for withdrawal, making bill payments, buying airtime or any other service on M-PESA.”

The announcement came after MasterCard revealed at Mobile World Congress that Nigerian citizens will be able to have their remittance sent straight into their eTranzact mobile money wallets, a multi-channel payment platform, or they can opt to choose bank accounts where they can send and receive remittance through HomeSend, an international service venture of which MasterCard is part of.

[Source: BizTech Africa, Image: CC Radarmax]

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