DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Millicom International Cellular: (STO:MIC)(NASDAQ:MICC)
Airtel, Tigo and Vodacom customers can now seamlessly send and receive money across networks, thanks to an agreement among three of Tanzania’s leading telecom operators.
With Vodacom joining Tigo, Airtel and Zantel’s existing partnership, today Tanzania becomes the first African market with full interoperability for mobile money peer to peer (P2P) transfers.
In 2014, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel announced a pioneering interoperability agreement. Since then, their customers have enjoyed interoperability between their mobile money accounts, which has accounted for an increase of 3.5 times the value of total off-network transactions. After announcing it would join the partnership last year, Vodacom has now implemented the deal.
Now customers using Airtel Money, Tigo Pesa and M-Pesa can conveniently send and receive funds directly to and from mobile wallets of the three providers using the same P2P tariffs.
Interoperability has been enabled by secure technical integration of the Airtel Money, Tigo Pesa and M-Pesa platforms, and aligned customer service, settlement and compliance processes between the three organizations. This will ensure that customers’ funds are just as safe as always.
With over 16 million mobile financial users in Tanzania transacting the equivalent of over 50% of Tanzania’s GDP each month, the interoperability structured by Airtel, Tigo and Vodacom offers great benefits to both the mobile financial services market and the consumer.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam, Ian Ferrao, Vodacom Tanzania’s Managing Director said “This is a great evolution of the mobile money service in Tanzania and a first of its kind in the world. Vodacom is committed to creating a cashless society and through this partnership our customers can enjoy more flexible payment options and fully participate in the formal financial ecosystem. Such innovation truly speaks to financial inclusion as it helps draw more cash into the formal financial system and helps improve our customers’ lives by simplifying transactions and adding speed and convenience to their daily routine - This is just one more way that we at Vodacom ensure 'Life is Better' for our customers.”
On his part Airtel Managing Director, Sunil Colaso said “The partnership forged between Airtel Tigo and Vodacom today is a continuation of our commitment to provide Tanzania with the financial inclusion sought by many across the country. Our partnership is aimed at unleashing and fostering innovation, leveraging in the evolution of technology to bring fast and convenient financial services closer to Tanzanians of all socio-economic classes. Airtel Money always brought innovations in to the financial sector adding convenience and eliminating customer pain using world class Fin Tech with value for money to customers.”
Commenting on today’s announcement, Tigo Tanzania and Millicom’s Head of Mobile Financial Services, Ruan Swanepoel, said: “We believe interoperability is crucial to the success of mobile money and the wider goal of increasing financial inclusion. It is also a fundamental building block towards constructing a digital economy, enabling merchants and other start-ups to participate in the financial services ecosystem. Our aim going forward is to reach similar agreements with networks in other markets.”
About Vodacom Tanzania
Vodacom Tanzania Limited is Tanzania's leading cellular network offering state-of-the-art GSM communication services across the country. It was launched in 2000 and is a subsidiary of Vodacom Group (Pty) Limited, South Africa, which is also a subsidiary of Vodafone Group UK. Mirambo Ltd. is a minority shareholder.
Vodacom is the market leader in Tanzania and has introduced many firsts in the Tanzanian market. One service that really stands out is its M-PESA money transfer service which has over 9 million active users. This is a total payment solution which does not require users to have bank accounts - an important consideration in Tanzania where millions of people do not operate bank accounts and can barely meet the minimum qualifications to open account. With M-PESA, Vodacom customers can deposit up to Tsh 5m/- for free, send and receive money and withdraw cash from any agent in the country. They can also access their bank accounts from the comfort of their homes. M-Pesa’s reach is further augmented by its over 85,000 Mobile Money agent across the country.
Over 1,000 organizations have today integrated their payment systems with M-Pesa for collections, disbursement and distributor services. M-Pesa was enhanced mid-2014 to include a saving and loans facility – M-Pawa. Over 3.5 million customers have subscribed to this service with over Tshs 3 billion disbursed in loans every month. M-Pesa is integrated with 30 banks in Tanzania and was declared a Super Brand in 2013.
About Bharti Airtel:
Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 3 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 350 million customers across its operations at the end of December 2015. To know more please visit www.airtel.com.
About Tigo Tanzania.
Tigo Tanzania is the leading innovative telecommunication company in the country, distinguished as a fully-fledged digital lifestyle brand. Offering a diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services, Tigo has pioneered innovations such as Facebook in Kiswahili, TigoPesa App &iOS users, Tigo Music (Deezer) and East Africa’s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion.
The Tigo 3G networks guarantees the best services to its subscriber’s in all regions across the country. In 2015 Tigo launched 4G LTE network in Dar es Salaam and selected regions with plans to become available all over the country in 2017. In the past three years the company has launched over 500 network sites bringing its total network sites to over 2,000. It plans to double its investment by 2017 in terms of coverage and additional capacity networks for deeper penetration in rural areas. With over 10 million registered subscribers, Tigo directly and indirectly employs over 300,000 Tanzanians including an extended network of customer service representatives, mobile money merchants, sales agents and distributors. Tigo started its operations in Tanzania in 1994.
Tigo is the biggest commercial brand of Millicom, leading telecom and media company dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. Millicom sets the pace when it comes to providing innovative and customer-centric digital lifestyle services to the world’s emerging markets. The Millicom Group employs more than 16,000 people and provides mobile services to over 62 million customers. Founded in 1990, Millicom International Cellular SA is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the symbol MIC. In 2015, Millicom generated revenue of USD 6.73 billion and Adjusted EBITDA of USD 2.27 billion.
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