Vodacom to bring mobile money service to Tanzania

M-PESA mobile money transfer service to be launched in second African country

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By  Derek Francis Published  April 10, 2008

Vodacom, the telecom operator joint venture between Vodafone and Telkom South Africa, is to launch mobile money transfer services to its 4.1 million customers in Tanzania at the end of the month.

The award-winning M-PESA service has already enjoyed huge commercial success in Kenya and boasts more than 1.6 million active customers. In February this year, Vodafone launched the service in Afghanistan, in partnership with local operator Roshan.

"M-PESA, meaning M for mobile and Pesa for money in Swahili, is one of the world's first cellphone-to-cellphone PESA transfer services for people who do not have access to conventional banks," said Dietlof Mare, managing director, Vodacom Tanzania.

"Of the 21 million Tanzanians over the age of 16, only 1.6 million currently have a bank account, but more than 7.5 million Tanzanians have a cellphone or have access to a cellphone," he added.

Vodacom customers will have to provide their mobile phone numbers and identification at an M-PESA agent to register for the service. Both pre-paid and post-paid subscribers will be able to open an M-PESA account at no cost.

According to Alan Knott-Craig, CEO, Vodacom Group, the service will "make it possible for millions of Tanzanians who do not have ready access to banking, to safeguard and distribute their capital. The economic benefits, especially in rural areas, will be enormous."

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