MTN, Western Union sign mobile money transfer deal

Money Transfer

It will now be easy for Rwandans living abroad to send money to their relatives back home following the launch of a new mobile money transfer service by MTN Rwanda and Western Union, a global money transfer service firm.

Ebenezer Asante, the MTN Rwanda chief executive officer, said the new service allows subscribers in Rwanda, who use MTN Mobile Money service to receive Western Union money transfer transactions directly on their mobile phones. “This will significantly reduce the time used to physically go to Western Union branches to pick up cash. Asante said this also means that Rwandans living abroad can remit money back home to MTN subscribers “swiftly and with greater convenience”.

“MTN is committed to offering innovative services that help improve customers’ quality of life,” he added.

The telecom firm currently has over three million mobile money customers.

Eric Nisingizwe, a local importer, said the service could ease business transactions and operational costs for enterprises,” Nisingizwe said.

How it works

To access the service customers need an active MTN Mobile Money account to receive money directly on to the mobile phones.

To retrieve their money, dial *182# and follow prompts. The receiver uses a secret code (MTCN code) which is provided by the sender to access the money. Enter your mobile money pin to confirm the amount of money credited to your account.

Early this year, MTN Group signed a collaboration agreement that will allow MTN mobile money users in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia to make international remittances with M-Pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania, the DR Congo, Mozambique and vice versa.

According to a recent statement from MTN, about 85 per cent of its subscriber base is registered on mobile money platform. Over 70 per cent Rwandans own mobile phones, according to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Meanwhile, Northern Corridor countries – Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya – are on the verge of rolling out cross-border mobile money transfer services under the One Area Network.

“We are waiting for the Bank of Uganda to give us the “no objection”… Otherwise, we are ready to go on the Rwandan side. We are yet to hear from the respective central banks of Kenya (and Tanzania, which is joining the initiative at an advanced stage) since we submitted the applications for the service recently,” Teta Mpyisi, the MTN Rwanda corporate communications and PR manager, explained yesterday.

Source: New Times 19 June 2015