Safaricom has brought its mobile money wallet to the world through a new service, M-Pesa Global. It will instantly enable customers to receive and send money to more than 200 countries and access it from more than 500 000 Western Union agent locations across the world. Transactions can also be carried out through bank accounts in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Germany for now, with other countries being rolled out in the near future.
Locally the service currently processes 14 million transactions daily and is used by more than 21 million customers per day.
“At Sh15 billion, the sum is equal to the amount that the [Kenyan] Treasury allocated for military modernisation last year,” the Daily Nation newspaper reported.
At the launch of the new service, Sylvia Mulinge, chief customer officer at Safaricom, said, “When we look at the success over the years, and going by the many awards received internationally, we can say that M-Pesa is one of Kenya’s best exports.”
M-Pesa global will open up the Kenyan market to the world and the global market to Kenyans. Business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals can access opportunities anywhere in the world with the assurance of finding payout points in 130 currencies across the globe.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, chief financial services officer at Safaricom, said, “This new service brings the convenience, safety and speed of M-Pesa to the rest of the world and will enable Kenyans to send and receive money across the world from the comfort of their mobile phones. M-Pesa Global seeks to connect Kenyans to opportunities by making it easy and seamless for them to transact with the world and for the world to transact with Kenyans.”
Richard Malcolm, Western Union’s regional vice president for southern, east and Anglophone west Africa, said this is the first partnership of its kind in the world. “This is a phenomenal avenue for financial inclusion. Kenyans whose children are schooling overseas can send them their school fees and upkeep and, in a matter of minutes, the money will be in their mobile phones or bank accounts.”
M-Pesa has been expanding steadily, with its last notable leap when Google Play apps and games store started accepting payments made in Kenya through the service.