Financial innovations in East Africa have quite a lot to do with mobile money, this is majorly due to the fact that the unbanked in the region are the majority. Benefits range from a very low entry barrier for adoption, convenience of the service and ease of use from across the demographics.
That’s why it’s quite a fete when a mobile carrier opens up borders where money transfer is concerned. Airtel Money will from next month go cross border in East Africa as the company rolls out on the 1st of November to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.
The company is yet to announce whether rates for money transfer change or not, but we’ll update you once we have that information. So what’s new with this move? Airtel money users will be able to transfer money to other Airtel Money users across the four countries, this also includes receiving and withdrawing. The Central Banks in the four countries have already approved the move and Airtel is piloting the service in the four countries before opening it up to the other countries in Africa where Airtel operates.
Whether there will be limits on the service which functions as a mobile commerce service too will remain to be seen on heard. You know, whether functions like utility bills across the borders work seamless or that you can pay bills of another country while in the other. But what’s for sure is that since the mobile money service is tied up to a Visa card, one is able to make withdrawals from any Visa branded ATM.