Monday , March 8 2021

Safaricom eyes diaspora cash as growth rate for M-Pesa :: Kenya



Safaricom Special Projects Director Sylvia Mulinge during the publication of reviewed results for the period 30 September 2018. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Kenyanans can now receive or send money directly around the world using the M-Pesa platform.

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This has been achieved through a partnership between Safaricom and Western Union, enabling its subscribers to get money from friends, relatives and business contacts outside Kenya directly to their mobile wallet.

The launch of M-Pesa Global, Safaricom said that the new service will allow M-Pesa users to send money to other parts of the world through channels such as bank accounts or money transfer services. Beneficiaries in other countries may withdraw money from the Western Union agent.

While users have previously been able to receive money from other markets earlier, the first time Kenyans can send cash abroad with M-Pesa. Other than Western Union, Safaricom has partnerships with several payment companies, including PayPal and World Remit.

"M-Pesa Global enables companies to directly access opportunities anywhere in the world. It removes the congestion of capturing where to find forex, save the trouble of looking for a money broker and sense of peace knowing your transfer goes to your recipient, saving you the trouble to track your transfers across multiple financial systems, "said Sylvia Mulinge, chief consultant, Safaricom yesterday.

"The new service will allow anyone from almost anywhere in the world to send money to any M-Pesa customer in Kenya …. M-Pesa customers can (even) send money to almost any individual worldwide through different channels, including directly in their bank accounts, says Safaricom.

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"In addition to existing channels, M-Pesa Global will immediately allow customers to send money for more than 500,000 Western Union agent locations worldwide. Transfers via bank accounts to United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Germany will also be available Immediately, with bank account services in other countries being rolled out in the next few weeks. "

Repayments from the diaspora have grown to the largest source of foreign currency for Kenya, giving the country Sh197 billion last year, before Sh129 billion revenue from the tea industry and Sh120 billion generated by tourism.

The money is largely sent to the country through traditional financial transfer platforms operated by banks and global money transfer services. Going with the amount of money sent by Kenyanans working abroad is lucrative and can be a critical growth area for M-Pesa.

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"Over the last six years, growth in transfers has more than doubled. This growth level would have been impossible to keep if it was not for the mobile phone," says Safaricom's Chief Financial Services Officer, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.

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