The payment landscape of Safaricom subscribers has changed significantly. This follows a money transfer partnership between the mobile phone operator and Ria Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide.
Kenyans in the diaspora, who routinely make remittances are expected to benefit from the partnenrship.
Latest figures indicate that remittances in Kenya averaged US$ 98,610,420 (KSh9.9 billion) from 2004 until 2019, reaching an all-time high of US$ 295,316,980 (KSh29.8 billion) in June 2019.
According to Central Bank of Kenya, diaspora remits an average of US$ 50 Million each month through the formal channels such us commercial banks and authorized international money transfer entities.
This new partnership will enable over 26 million Mpesa subscribers to receive money from international sources using the Ria network, from over 20 countries across the world.
The countries signed up in the program are; Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal and Togo.
Other M-PESA’s International Money Transfer (IMT) partners include Post Finance, World Remit, Western Union, Skrill, and SkyForex.
Ria has the second largest money transfer network in the world with 389,000 locations across 161 countries. It provides online money transfer services for five sending countries, which are the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain as well as 160 receiving countries.
“We are excited to partner with Ria Money Transfer to enable M-pesa customers to receive money transfers from even more locations around the world.
This partnership will further increase the value we provide to our customers by offering them more choice and the power to receive transfers directly into their M-PESA accounts,” said Michael Joseph, CEO, Safaricom.
Some of Ria’s top markets include the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, in addition to majority of European countries.
According to Central Bank of Kenya statistics, more than 40 percent of international transfers are now received through M-pesa service.
Using M-PESA global service, M-PESA registered customers are able to send and receive money globally. They are able to send funds to millions of Bank accounts globally. Through PayPal, Mpesa customers can access funds quickly and shop around the world with PayPal mobile money service and M-PESA.
The minimum amount to send globally is KSh 101 and maximum of KSh 70,000. The recipient will receive funds in their country’s currency.
The 2019 Annual report indicate that Safaricom realized MPESA revenue of KSh 74.9 Billion compared to KSh 62.9 Billion the previous year.
Pressure has been mounting for the mobile operator to delink its telecoms business from that of cash transfer with regulations to govern this new business, yet to come into play.