- Service set to revolutionise money in Tanzania, bringing Vodafone’s award-winning money transfer service to a second African market
Some 4.1 million Vodacom customers in Tanzania will soon be able to use their mobile phones to send money home and to loved-ones safely and securely with the leading network operator’s new Vodafone M-PESA service. Vodacom plans to launch the service at the end of April 2008.
Vodacom, the leading mobile network operator in Southern Africa, has operations in the Republic of South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Vodacom Group is a joint venture between Vodafone and Telkom South Africa. The launch of Vodafone M-PESA in Tanzania will see Vodafone’s award-winning mobile money transfer service available in a second African market.
Vodafone M-PESA was originally developed and deployed by Vodafone in Kenya, where the service has now been running for over one year, with more than 1.6 million active customers. In February 2008, Vodafone launched the service in a second market, Afghanistan in partnership with the Afghani operator Roshan.
“M-PESA, meaning M for mobile and Pesa for money in Swahili, is one of the world’s first cellphone-to-cellphone PESA transfer services for people who do not have access to conventional banks,” said Vodacom Tanzania managing director Dietlof Mare.
“After finalisation of all technical and other requirements, the service should be available to Tanzanians from the 28 April 2008,” Mare said.
Vodafone M-PESA is a service that is expected to revolutionise the way Tanzanians manage money. “Of the 21 million Tanzanians over the age of 16, only 1.6 million currently have a bank account, but more than 7.5 million Tanzanians have a cellphone or have access to a cellphone,” Mare said.
Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets said: “We are delighted that Vodafone, with our partner Vodacom, will be extending our award-winning M-PESA mobile money transfer service to Tanzania.
“Along with neighbouring Kenya, Tanzania is fundamentally a cash-based economy, and this service will provide an instant, effective and secure way for Tanzanians to send, store and receive money, wherever they are in the country. We welcome them to the Vodafone M-PESA community.”
CEO of the Vodacom Group Alan Knott-Craig said cellphones have already changed the lives of millions of people on the African continent. “With more than 225 million cellphone users in Africa according to the World Bank, many people have had the benefit of telephonic communication for the first time in their lives.
“Now cellphone-to-cellphone PESA transfer will add huge value to the lives of many more people. This highly sophisticated first-world technology will make it possible for millions of Tanzanians who do not have ready access to banking, to safeguard and distribute their capital. The economic benefits, especially in rural areas, will be enormous,” Knott-Craig said.
Vodafone M-PESA is available only to Vodacom customers, who have to provide their mobile phone number and identification at an M-PESA agent, which will include Vodacom airtime dealers and selected petrol stations, post offices, banks or supermarkets. Both pre-paid and post-paid Vodacom customers will be able to open a Vodafone M-PESA account at no cost.
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Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile communications group with over 252 million proportionate customers as at 31 December 2007. Vodafone currently has equity interests in 25 countries across five continents and a further 40 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com
Vodacom is a pan-African cellular communications company providing a world-class GSM service to millions of customers in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Vodacom is the market leader in all of the countries it operates in, with the exception of Mozambique. The commercial availability of mobile broadband services via UMTS (3G) in South Africa (since 2005) and Tanzania (since 2007) affirms its leadership in offering the latest technologies and innovations. For more information please visit www.vodacom.com