Money – In Brief
In Kenya, M-Pesa agents can now acquire unsecured bank loans for business expansion from KCB following a partnership agreement between the bank and mobile phone service provider Safaricom. Through the facility dubbed M-Pesa Agent Mkopo na KCB, agents can get loans of up to Sh5 million and bank overdrafts to increase float availability. The amount will be based on the level of their commissions and will be repaid at a subsidised interest rate of 1.5 per cent per month.
MTN Ghana and Belgium carrier BICS will launch International Remittances services with MTN Ghana, utilizing HomeSend, a mobile centric remittance hub operated by BICS and powered by its technology partner eServGlobal. The service will enable Ghanaians living in the UK and Belgium to send funds directly to their relatives’ mobile money accounts. MTN had 760,000 mobile money registered accounts in 2Q10. Competitor Tigo launched a similar offering in December 2010.
Telecom New Zealand, one of New Zealand’s largest telecommunications service providers, is extending and expanding its relationship with Brightstar, a major player in services and solutions for the wireless industry. The goal is to increase its footprint in Africa and help buttress a growing telecom industry, the company said.