Kampala — MTN is to start international money transfer services, the chief marketing officer, Isaac Nsereko, has said. “We are going global as well,” said Nsereko in a telephone interview.
New Vision reports that the development not only shifts the competition terrain to a geographical level, but ushers the telecoms into one of the most capitalised industries, international remittances.
Uganda’s remittances from abroad were $724m in 2008, down from $786m in 2007 as a result of the global economic crisis.
MTN and Zain have moved over sh40b in mobile money transactions since they started the service. This is just a small fraction of the global trade that the telecoms are now likely to tap into.
Safaricom, the largest telecom company in East Africa, announced its international money transfer line to the UK through its M-Pesa service on Tuesday.
Kenya’s Safaricom pioneered money transfer via the mobile phone through its M-Pesa in East Africa. Presently, there are about six million people signed onto the M-Pesa service.
Zain recently announced its partnership with Western Union in a deal that will allow clients to send and receive money worldwide.
With the advantages money transfers by phones have, like affordability and efficacy, it remains to be seen how the entire industry will adjust to this new development.