Thursday, March 31, 2011

M-Pesa goes global with Western Union

A client receives money at a Western Union outlet in Nairobi. Photo/FILE

A client receives money at a Western Union outlet in Nairobi. Photo/FILE 

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

Kenyans living abroad can now send money to their relatives back home through Safaricom’s mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa.

This is after Safaricom and Western Union signed an agreement, which enables Kenyans living in 45 countries in the US, Asia, Europe and Africa to access the now world famous M-Pesa service.

Although they can send up to Sh35,000 per transaction, limits per day, per month or per year will depend on the country the money is sent from, following the link-up that is likely to give the NSE listed firm a head start in the increasingly competitive mobile telephony market.

“Through this partnership, our customers and their friends and families will benefit from affordable, faster and more convenient international remittances,” said Safaricom chief executive officer, Bob Collymore.

Impressive adoption

Mr David Yates, of Western Union, applauded the service as an impressive adoption of the mobile channel.

“Cash payout through M-Pesa is projected to go up from 23 per cent to 40 per cent, as the traditional cash payout will take the rest,” Mr Yates said.

The transaction is similar to a traditional cash-to-cash money transfer, except that the sender specifies the recipient’s mobile phone number at the time the funds are sent.

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