Safaricom, Western Union launch M-Pesa global in over 200 countries

Customers queue outside an M-Pesa shop in Nairobi
Customers queue outside an M-Pesa shop in Nairobi

The mobile money sector in Kenya has hit another milestone after the launch of the M-Pesa global, a partnership between Safaricom and Western Union which will enable customers to receive and send money to over 200 countries.

Mpesa global enables Kenyan entrepreneur’s access seamless opportunities anywhere in the world and taking away the hustle of grappling where to find forex as Western Union payout in 130 currencies across the globe.

Safaricom chief customer officer Sylvia Mulinge speaking on Tuesday during the launch said the partnership will enable Kenyans to send and receive money from loved ones, business, medical and school fees from across Kenya.

"When we look at the success over the years we can say M-Pesa is one of Kenya’s best exports going by the many awards received internationally," she said.

M-Pesa transacts more than 17 million transactions every day which transforms the lives of over 21 million customers.

“We have a decade-long partnership with Western Union which enables us to be able to leverage on their 176 years expertise to serve our one million monthly M-Pesa customers,” she said.

Mulinge said that they are in talks with the regulatory authorities like the Central bank so that they can increase the amount which can be transacted in a day.

Currently, the amount stands at Sh140, 000 while the maximum one can hold in their M-Pesa account is SH100, 000.

She explained that the transaction amount varies with the amount being sent ranging between Sh100 to a maximum of Sh500 and one can send from as low as Sh10 to a maximum of Sh140, 000 per day.

Western Union regional vice president for Southern, East and Anglophone West Africa Richard Malcom said that their 170 years’ experience will significantly boost their operations since this is their first kind of partnership in the world as they seek to deploy digital services globally which is now contributing 12 per cent of their revenue.

“This is a phenomenal avenue for financial inclusion where Kenyans whose children are schooling overseas can send them school fees and upkeep in a matter of minutes and it will be in their mobile phones or bank accounts,” highlighted Malcom.