Financial innovations in East Africa largely revolve around mobile money with many providers seeking to tap on the unbanked population to drive financial inclusion. A large chunk of the East African residents now rely on mobile money for microloans, savings plans as well as making payments. The growth in the adoption has been fueled by low barriers of entry, convenience in use of service as well as ease of use across demographics. However, there have been certain limitations to cross-border money transfer such as inter-operability of mobile money transfer systems. In addition, users sending money across the border would have to worry about exchange rates between the sender and recipient country before making the transactions.
In April of this year, MTN Group signed collaboration agreements aimed at allowing MTN Money users in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia to make cross border remittances with M-pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania and a host of other nations. Users in these nations would be able to send money to MTN users. In addition to boosting trade, the service allowed users to send money without exactly changing currencies. Early in September, MTN Rwanda users were able to send money to MTN Uganda using this service.
Now a Techweez reader has alerted us on the ability of MTN Rwanda subscribers to send money via their mobile devices to Safaricom M-pesa without having to change the currencies. The sender was an MTN Money user in Rwanda while the recipient was an M-pesa user.
So the sender (MTN Money user) keys in the USSD which ushers in the MTN Money prompt. They are then asked to enter the number of the recipient user including the country code as seen below.
The user is then prompted to enter the amount they want to send in Rwandese Francs as seen below.
Before the user confirms the transaction, they receive a prompt summary of the details of their transaction including the amount, country of the recipient, service charges as well as the amount to be received in the recipient’s currency.