Airtel, Tigo and Vodacom – three telecom network operators in Tanzania – announced interoperability agreement allowing customers to send and receive money across networks.
In 2014, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel announced interoperability agreement. Their mobile money accounts accounted for an increase of 3.5 times the value of total off-network transactions. With the entry of Vodacom to the mobile money partnership among Tigo, Airtel and Zantel, Tanzania becomes the first African market with full interoperability for mobile money peer to peer (P2P) transfers.
Today’s announcement means customers using Airtel Money, Tigo Pesa and M-Pesa can 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.
There are more than 16 million mobile financial users in Tanzania transacting the equivalent of over 50 percent of Tanzania’s GDP each month.
Ian Ferrao, Vodacom Tanzania’s Managing Director; Sunil Colaso, Airtel Managing Director and Ruan Swanepoel, Tigo Tanzania and Millicom’s Head of Mobile Financial Services, were instrumental in finalizing the interoperability deal to ensure the success of mobile money.
Vodacom Tanzania has 9 million M-PESA money transfer service users. M-Pesa has over 85,000 Mobile Money agent across the country.
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.
Tigo Tanzania, in the past three years, 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 penetration in rural areas. Tigo Tanzania has over 10 million registered subscribers.