Safaricom Disrupts Bank Transfers In New Mpesa Partnership

Kenyans can now receive and send money to Europe, Latin America, North America, among other states overseas through Mpesa after Safaricom’s partnership with Ria money transfer. 

Ria is a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide Inc which specializes in money remittances. The platform that serves customers in 161 countries through over 300,000 locations across the world will now connect more than 26 million Mpesa users to the world.  

Disruption

Even though Ria has already partnered with local banks and Kenyans can already use the platform to transfer money, bringing the service to mobile money users will increase traffic for incoming and outgoing transfers. 

In the past, Safaricom has overshadowed operations ran by traditional financial institutions, such as loans, savings, and even deposits. The recent partnership presents more control for the consumer, cutting on time used since the consumer will not have any physical contact with financial institutions as it would be in the past. 

Customers sending money to M-PESA through Ria will be informed of the applicable exchange rate and transaction fee before sending money. Transfers sent through Ria will reflect immediately in a customer’s M-PESA balance saving recipients the trouble of currency conversions or having to visit an outlet to receive money sent to them.

Some of Ria’s top markets include the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, in addition to majority of European countries.

“We are excited to partner with Ria Money Transfer to enable M-PESA customers to conveniently receive money transfers from even more locations around the world. This partnership will further increase the value we provide to our customers by offering them more choice and the power to receive transfers directly into their M-PESA accounts,” said Michael Joseph, CEO, Safaricom.

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M-PESA has been growing as a preferred remittance channel especially by Kenyans in the diaspora looking to send money to their families back home. According to the Central Bank of Kenya statistics, more than 40 percent of international transfers are now received through the service.

Gathoni Kuria

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