Vodafone on Tuesday extended the reach of its mobile money service M-Pesa by establishing a partnership with money transfer provider MoneyGram.
The deal means customers can use MoneyGram's Website, mobile app, or any one of its 334,000 agents spread across 200 countries to send funds to an M-Pesa user. It is significant news for any expat who wants to send money back to family members who live in a country where banks are scarce.
"There is huge demand for sending funds back to family and friends in your home market and an estimated US$90 billion per year is transferred to M-Pesa markets from around the globe," said Michael Joseph, Vodafone's director of M-Pesa, in a statement. "Our partnership with MoneyGram provides the most extensive global network and greatest number of access points for consumers wishing to transfer funds to M-Pesa users."
M-Pesa is currently available in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Fiji, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.
It has been particularly successful in Kenya, where it is used to transfer 77.3 billion Kenyan shillings ($897 million) in peer-to-peer transactions per month.
"We're excited about the opportunity to leverage our powerful platform to expand our reach to these digital channels," said Alex Hoffmann, SVP of global product management and emerging channels at MoneyGram.