Mobile operator MTN Uganda has added Vodacom Tanzania to the list of telecom partners with whom customers can do mobile money transactions in the East African region.
The new addition follows the implementation of the same service with two other providers in Tanzania: Tigo & Airtel.
“Regional remittance service is an important part of our mobile financial services strategy to increase financial inclusion for all using mobile technologies, and to reduce the cost of transferring money between countries. The new partnership will take advantage of the extensive distribution network of mobile money in the region and reduce the cost of sending and receiving money for our customers,” said Ali Monzer, General Manager of Mobile Financial Services MTN Uganda.
For his part, Epimack Mbeteni, Vodacom M-Pesa Director in Tanzania mentioned existing statistics showing that in 2015 the value of trade between Tanzania and Uganda was over TZS 178 billion and increased to over TZS 350 Billion in 2018.
Although the amounts of money sent between Tanzania and Uganda through formal money transfer is large, it is estimated that more than twice that amount has been sent through informal money transfers channels including bus drivers and bus attendants or using relatives and friends traveling, Mbeteni said.
“We have seen the difficulty our customers face when transacting between neighboring countries and we have brought a solution through this service which is convenient, reliable and faster. There is no reason for our customers to send money through unsecured channels when doing business transactions, paying tuition fees or send money to family and friends,” Mbeteni concluded.
Mobile money, also referred to as M-Pesa, was first introduced in Tanzania in 2008.
According to the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Monetary Policy Statement of February 2020, at the end of December 2019, the number of active registered accounts for mobile money stood at 24.4 million compared with 23.3 million in the corresponding period in 2018.