Tigo Tanzania says customers of its Tigo Pesa mobile money service will now be able to move funds between any of the country’s mobile money operators, as Vodacom’s M-Pesa joins an interoperable network already set up by Tigo, Zantel and Airtel. Tigo becomes the only operator in Tanzania to offer interoperability with Airtel, Vodacom and Zantel.
Vodacom’s participation means that more than 16 million mobile money users in Tanzania will be able to conduct transactions with one-another regardless of which mobile operator they use.
It also creates Africa’s first universal interoperable mobile money network.
In June 2014, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel announced a pioneering interoperability agreement. Since then, their customers have enjoyed interoperability between their mobile money accounts which has accounted for an increase of 3.5 times the value of total offline transactions. After announcing it would join the interoperable network one year ago, Vodacom has now implemented the deal.
Interoperability in Tanzania today is not exclusive to mobile operators, and also includes more than 25 banks. The country’s 16 million mobile financial users transact the equivalent of more than 50 percent of Tanzania’s GDP each month. Thanks to this growing network, Tanzania is now the leading place for mobile money in east Africa, overtaking Kenya.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Tigo Tanzania Head of Mobile Financial Services, Ruan Swanepoel, said: ‘With Tigo Pesa, customers will now benefit from faster, cheaper and safer cashless transactions with anyone across the country.’
Swanepoel continued, ‘We believe interoperability is crucial to the success of mobile money and the wider goal of increasing financial inclusion. It is also a fundamental building block towards constructing a digital economy, enabling merchants and other start-ups to participate in the financial services ecosystem. Our aim going forward is to reach similar agreements with networks in other markets.’