Vodafone, MTN to join hands in mobile banking across seven African countries


Vodafone has 7.6m M-Pesa users in Africa through Vodacom, and more than 20m in Kenya through Safaricom. MTN has more than 22m mobile-money users.

VODAFONE Group Plc will cooperate with MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless operator, to ease mobile-banking services in parts of the continent’s sub-Saharan region.

The partnership will enable customers of Vodafone’s M-Pesa and MTN’s Mobile Money divisions to make low-cost transfers to users of either service among seven African countries, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

“Together, we aim to build a scalable model that will accelerate remittance roll-out across the continent,” Serigne Dioum, MTN’s head of mobile financial services, said in the statement.

Mobile-money transfers allow people to pay for services, such as satellite television and electricity, without cash as well as obtain loans and savings accounts in parts of the continent where banks are scarce. Wireless operators are developing financial services to generate sales in Africa as revenue from voice calls declines.

Vodafone, based in Newbury, England, has 7.6 million M-Pesa users in Africa through its Vodacom Group Ltd. unit, and more than 20 million Kenyan subscribers through Safaricom Ltd. Johannesburg-based MTN has more than 22 million mobile-money users.

The countries where the interconnected M-Pesa and MTN Mobile Money service will be available include Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

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