(Adds a comment to Western Union)
Kenya Safari's largest telecom operator on Tuesday unveiled a new service of the M-Pesa mobile financial services platform that will allow users to send money around the world in partnership with Western Union.
Begin 11 years ago as a basic mobile money transfer service to serve Kenyans without access to a formal banking network, M-Pesa has developed into a full-fledged financial service, offers loans and savings in cooperation with local banks, as well as merchant payment services.
It also worsened the increase in Safaricom's earnings over the past few years, with service revenues rising by 18 percent in half-year-end to end-September to 35.52 billion shillings ($ 349.43 million), nearly a third of the total.
The new service will allow active M-Pesa users 21 million active users to send and receive money around the world using their mobile phones that will be linked to the half-million Wester Union agent.
"M-PESA Global wants to connect Kenyaans with opportunities by facilitating and preventing their transaction with the world and the world for transactions with the Kenyans," said Sitoio Lopkoit, Chief Financial Services Officer at Safaricom.
Vestern Monei Global Transfer CEO Odilon Almeida said the integration of the two platforms would allow users to send and receive money in more than 200 countries and territories.
"This will become a model for opening the world of global connectivity and economic opportunities for the developing and developed economies," Almeida said.
Eric Musau, an analyst who covers Safaric at Standard Investment Bank, said M-Pesa Global would help the company get some of the money sent by Kenyans abroad home, which in the past few months amounted to $ 200 million a month.
"This will help them take advantage of the existing market, which is a significant market, so this is positive," Musau said.
Users will also be able to send money to bank accounts in the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Britain immediately after more countries will be added in the coming weeks, Safaric said.
Although Safarico, owned by Vodacom and Vodafone, has 30 million subscribers and lead management among the three operators in Kenya in other services such as voice calls, short messages and data, it seems that M-Pesa offers a real competitive advantage over its range and experience.
Google Play Apps and Game Store began accepting payments in Kenya via M-Pess in February last year. Safaric also explores the possibility of expanding M-Pesa to other African nations, such as Ethiopia.
M-Pesa users will be able to access overruns in their accounts next week to allow them to pay for goods and services and repay later, Safarica said last week. ($ 1 = 101,6500 Kenya Schillings) (Report by Danko Miriri, Editing Ed Osmond and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)