Mobile telecom operator Vodafone has introduced international mobile money transfer service between Tanzania and Kenya, the two largest economies in East Africa.
Over 7 million customers of Vodacom Tanzania and over 18 million of Safaricom Kenya can now send and receive money from each other via mobile phone at the same rate as sending money locally.
Vodacom Tanzania’s Managing Director Rene Meza indicated that over TZS 200 billion is sent from Tanzania to Kenya annually, while the latter sends over 26 billion to Tanzania, through formal channels.
“Estimates would indicate that more than twice that amount was transacted via informal channels including bus drivers, friends and family” stated Meza.
Kenya is Tanzania’s largest trading partner. Tanzania is home to approximately 300,000 Kenyans who remit funds to their home country via informal ways.
There is also a sizeable part of the Tanzanian population that has chosen to educate their children in Kenya and rely on the very same means to transfer money
“We have looked into the hurdles that our customers need to overcome in order to send and receive money across to our neighbors in Kenya and have come up with a safe, secure and convenient way to do so” said Meza.
Vodacom has approximately 65% market share of mobile financial services in Tanzania whereas Safaricom commands over 80% share in Kenya.