Mobile operator Vodacom Tanzania has partnered with online money transfer service WorldRemit to enable its mobile money customers to receive money from abroad directly to their M-Pesa wallets.
WorldRemit is a global provider of transfers to mobile money accounts and is connected to over 160 million accounts across 29 countries. The company also offers bank transfer, cash pickup, and mobile airtime top-up to Tanzania.
Vodacom Tanzania M-Pesa Director Epimack Mbeteni said: “This new partnership with World Remit enables us to tap into the remittances coming into Tanzania every year. It will increase the ease and ability for families and friends in Tanzania to receive money through M-Pesa from across the world and benefit from our extensive footprint of over 106,000 M-Pesa agents across the country plus our diverse ecosystem of banks, businesses, and merchants connected to M-Pesa.”
According to the World Bank (WB), African immigrants sent USD 38 billion back home in 2017 and are forecast to hit around USD 39.6 billion this year.
World remittances to Tanzania are mostly done through banks. “This partnership offers an easier and cheaper alternative to receiving cash from abroad by cutting the transaction process meaning families receive more of the money straight into their M-Pesa wallets” Epimack added.
According to the WB, the average cost of sending £120 (USD 155) from the UK to Tanzania is almost 9.5%. WorldRemit fees for the same amount start below 2%.
On her side, WorldRemit’s Regional Director for East and Central Africa Sharon Kinyanjui said that the move will reduce sending charges to countries like the US, UK, Sweden, and South Africa as all transactions are digital.
According to the latest Quarterly Communications Statistics of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) of June 2019, there are a total of almost 23 million registered mobile money accounts in the country.
In the month of June 2019, there were more than 260 million mobile money transactions for a total value of TZS 8.3 quadrillion (USD 3.6 trillion).