Vodafone Group and MTN Group have inked a deal to interconnect their mobile money services. This will enable customers of M-Pesa and MTN Mobile Money in East Africa to transfer money to each other.
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.
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.
Vodafone has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. As of 31 December 2014, Vodafone had 444 million mobile customers and 11.8 million fixed broadband customers.
The M-Pesa service was launched in March 2007 by Safaricom Limited in Kenya. It enables millions of people who have access to a mobile phone, but do not have access to a bank account, to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments and enjoy a range of other services.
M-Pesa had approximately 19.5 million active customers as at 31 December 2014 and approximately 250,000 agents worldwide. It is available in nine markets: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Mozambique, Egypt, Lesotho and Romania.
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As of 31 December 2014, MTN recorded 223.4 million subscribers 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.
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