Customers in East Africa who are signed up to Vodafone Group’s M-Pesa and those using South Africa-based MTN Group’s MTN Mobile Money will be able to transfer money to each other, after the two companies reached a deal to interconnect their mobile money platforms. In a press release confirming the development, Vodafone Group said that the interconnect collaboration between what it termed ‘the region’s two biggest mobile money operators’ will enable convenient and affordable international remittances between M-Pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique, and MTN Mobile Money customers in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia. Under the terms of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), MTN Group and Vodafone Group will also share best practice and work together to define the rules and standards of mobile-based remittances in Africa.
Commenting on the development, Vodafone Director of Mobile Money Michael Joseph said: ‘Our agreement with MTN to connect our mobile money wallets in East Africa is a fantastic example of co-operation and interoperability between competing mobile operators. By working together, we will deliver cheaper, faster money transfers, improving the lives of many people living in the seven countries involved.’ MTN Group Head of Mobile Financial Services, Serigne Dioum meanwhile added: ‘After successful launches in Ivory Coast and Benin in West Africa, we are looking enthusiastically at the collaboration with Vodafone in East Africa. Together, we aim to build a scalable model that will accelerate remittance roll-out across the continent.’