Mobile telecom operator Vodafone has introduced international mobile money transfer service between Tanzania and Kenya, the two largest economies in East Africa.
More than 7 million customers of Vodacom Tanzania and 18 million of Safaricom Kenya customers can now send and receive money from each other via mobile phone at the same rate as sending money locally.
According to Vodacom Tanzania’s managing director Rene Meza, more than 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’ Meza said.
Kenya is Tanzania’s largest trading partner. Tanzania is home to nearly 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 neighbours in Kenya and have come up with a safe, secure and convenient way to do so,’ said Meza.
Vodacom has about 65 percent market share of mobile financial services in Tanzania, while Safaricom commands over 80 percent share in Kenya.