Vodafone and MTN Group have signed a deal to allow their respective M-Pesa and Mobile Money customers to transfer cash to each other.
The interconnect partnership will link M-Pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique, and MTN Mobile Money customers in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.
The two companies also promised to share best practice and work together to define the rules and standards of mobile-based remittances in Africa.
M-Pesa had approximately 19.5 million active customers at the end of last year. MTN Mobile Money had 22.2 million customers in January.
Vodafone Director of Mobile Money Michael Joseph commented: “Our agreement with MTN to connect our mobile money wallets in East Africa is a fantastic example of co-operation and interoperability between competing mobile operators. By working together, we will deliver cheaper, faster money transfers, improving the lives of many people living in the seven countries involved.”
Last month, Vodafone launched the first international money transfer service for M-Pesa, allowing consumers in Tanzania and Kenya send cash through more than 180,000 agents.
MTN Group Head of Mobile Financial Services Serigne Dioum said: “After successful launches in Ivory Coast and Benin in West Africa, we are looking enthusiastically at the collaboration with Vodafone in East Africa. Together, we aim to build a scalable model that will accelerate remittance roll-out across the continent.”