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Do you know in how many countries Mpesa has some presence? Kenya, Tanzania, Lesotho, DRC, South Africa, Mozambique, Egypt, Romania, Fiji, and India. Now add Rwanda to that list as Safaricom has partnered with MTN Rwanda to enable inclusion of customers to make mobile money transactions between Kenya and Rwanda.

This comes hot on the heels of a similar partnership earlier this year between Safaricom and Vodacom Tanzania to enable customers have cross border transactions between Kenya and Tanzania.

For Safaricom and MTN Rwanda customers to access Mpesa, they will need to dial *840# from where they’ll have access to further prompts. Customers will also not have to worry about exchange rates because through the prompts, they’ll be shown a cost calculator that will show them just how much to send based on current foreign exchange rates. After sending money, one will receive two messages to confirm the completion of the transaction.

Statistics from Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT show that the country is ready for a cashless economy. As at December 2014, mobile money was the biggest facilitator for going cashless, and a 120 percent growth in subscriber numbers is attributed to the need it.

Says Betty Mwangi – Director- Financial Services at Safaricom, “This initiative will not only be of benefit to the customers who may need to send money between the two countries, but will also provide a reliable and affordable way for businesses to transact, thereby helping grow the East African economy”

Rwanda too is happy with the arrangement as according to the General Manager of MTN Business Norman Munyampundu, this partnership will help expand financial inclusion especially now that the use of mobile money in the country is on the rise. They’re determined to be a part of the huge technological changes in the new era and to take advantage of them to enhance financial inclusion.

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