ICT Africa Headline News

Tanzania Mobile Firms Team Up

09 June, 2014

Source: East African Business Week

Dar es Salaam — The customers of the three telecommunications companies in Tanzania will from end of month (June) start sending and receiving money to each other directly.

This would allow customers of Tigo, Airtel and Zantel in Tanzania to send money to each other whether using Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money or EzyPesa on their mobile handsets.

Other benefits customers of the three companies would enjoy including the ability to send money at more affordable rates and in a simplified way which does not require use of PIN codes when making withdrawals as had been the practice before signing of the agreement, the firms said.

Tigo's General Manager for Tanzania, Mr. Diego Gutierrez told East African Business Week during the launch of MFS Interoperability partnership that the service will start by end of this month (June).

"We are delighted to work with Airtel and Zantel to extend the mobile money universe in Tanzania. With even more transactions possible, our customers' money is made even more safe and secure with this technology," Gutierrez said.

He said just as "we co-operate with our competitors on voice calls and text to help our customers, so we hope to be able to do the same with mobile money and help make Tanzania a global pioneer in digital financial inclusion."

This is the first agreement in the world to adopt such 'interoperability' whereby mobile network operators allow their customer to send and receive money across the network and the e-money goes direct to the respective customer e-wallet account.

With this agreement, he said customers of the three telecommunications companies would be able to send money by mobile to each other directly.

He said this bold move makes sending money across their networks more affordable and may lead to increased transactions among their customers, ultimately financial inclusion.

"We would like to also inform our customers and the general public, our companies have taken every precaution to ensure that this remains a safe and secure money flow platform," he said.

He said just as they have previously co-operated before to enable their customers make voice calls and send text messages across their networks, so they do it again by integrating the mobile financial services of the three companies.

Airtel Managing Director, Sunil Colaso said his company is committed to introduce to their customers new innovative services that look beyond competition, a tremendous evolution to ensure mobile inclusion that is sought by many Tanzanians taking into account their reach across the country.

"Today's partnership will bring our customers closer to mobile service and ease their use of mobile money services," Colaso said.

On his side Zantel's Managing Director, Mr. Pratap Ghose, said Zantel has a strong commitment to excellence and innovation, and thus is happy about this partnership which will enable all their customers to conduct their businesses efficiently and with ease across Tanzania.

"Zantel is proud to have been the pioneer in launching Mobile payments in 2008; and hence will work with the industry and the regulatory bodies to ensure that we offer 'best in class' service to our customers," Ghose said.

This makes Tanzania a global pioneer in digital financial inclusion he said adding that Tigo is proud to be part of this important milestone of our country and in connecting over 3 million users of our Tigo Pesa service with users of Airtel Money and Ezy Pesa.

They said in a joint statement that their special thanks also go to the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) and IFC for creating an enabling regulatory environment favorable for this kind of partnership to work.

Tigo said, it is my highest expectation that Tanzanians will enjoy this service and use it to their maximum advantage in bringing about socio-economic change in their communities and the country as a whole.

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