MTN Rwanda, one of Rwanda’s leading mobile network operators, Sunday announced the launch of a pioneering cross-border Mobile Money remittance service between Rwanda and Kenya.
It is expected that the new service to be launched in May 2015, will allow MTN subscribers in Rwanda to send money from their mobile money accounts to Safaricom’s mpesa payment subscribers in Kenya and vice versa.
The system to be launched integrates currency conversion, whereby money is sent in either Rwandan Francs and Kenyan Shillings and delivered already converted into in the currency of the recipient’s country.
Commenting on the new move, the head of mobile money department at MTN Rwanda, Nornan Munyampundu said that this would be the first innovative product of its kind that allows dual currency international mobile wallet to mobile wallet transfers with currency conversion included.
Once the remittance is received, customers can use the funds to access all the services and benefits that MTN Mobile Financial Services offer. These include airtime top ups, payments for water, electricity, TV and transportation, transfers to bank accounts, cash withdrawals at any Tigo agent across the country, and convenient transfers to other mobile money users.
This service will be used from any MTN mobile phone. Customers in their respective countries will receive their money immediately in their routine currency, Munyampundu said.
According to Munyampundu, “This new product will save customers’ time and money. International senders currently have to go to a money changer to exchange Rwanda Francs to dollars and then bring those dollars to remittance companies to send. They can now send money directly from their phone.”
“We are delighted to give our customers the possibilities to make payments to fellow East Africans. Thanks to a stable and state-of-the-art technology, users in Rwanda are able to send money to their families, friends and to their business partners across the border alike.”
The new service will particularly benefit the businesses with cross-border trade, diaspora families, truck drivers, importers and exporters from both countries, according to the same source.
Kenya is currently the main destination of exports of Rwandan products (53.9%) constistings of products such as black tea and coffee, according to official statistics. Enditem