Mpesa customers now have one more reason to smile as they can now send money and receive money from Rwanda. Safaricom has partnered with MTN Rwanda to make this possible. This is part of Safaricom’s plan to deepen financial inclusion in the region and also increase regional trade. Safaricom had partnered with Vodacom Tanzania earlier this year to encourage cross border transactions between Kenya and Tanzania.
Betty Mwangi, Director- Financial Services at Safaricom said that the initiative would provide a reliable and affordable way for businesses to transact, which would in turn grow the East African economy. “This announcement comes at an opportune time, with the introduction of the new M-PESA platform, which gives us the capacity to handle up to 600 transactions per second thereby helping deepen financial inclusion through integration with existing and emerging Financial Services platforms.”
According to statistics from Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT mobile money was the greatest facilitator for the cashless economy in Rwanda in 2014 accounting for a 120% growth in subscribers. The subscriber base grew from 2,538,651 to about 5,585,075 during the year.
General Manager of MTN Business, Norman Munyampundu said that Rwanda is still finding its path to financial inclusion and the partnership will drive economic growth and expand financial inclusion.
He said, “We are witnessing huge technological changes that have the potential to usher in a new era of financial inclusion, which we are determined to be a part of.”
To access the service, Safaricom and MTN customers will be required to dial *840# from their handsets and follow prompts and access a Cost Calculator that will show them the equivalent amount to send based on prevailing foreign exchange rates. Upon sending they will receive two messages to confirm that the transaction has gone through.