Rwanda telecoms start ‘cross border’ mobile money
After a long period of delays, the country’s telecoms- MTN Rwandacel and Airtel Rwanda have set to rollout the cross border mobile money.
The long awaited cross border mobile money that is seen as a step towards financial integration received delays both on the regulators side as well as operators since last year in August. John Karamuka, Director Payment Systems at central bank , Rwanda’s regulator for mobile money said that the bank finalized the requirements that were asked by regulators in other members states as wells giving license to regulators to operate the cross border platforms.
The telecoms are now cleared to transact,” said Karamuka With this signal, AirtelRwanmda moved in to harmonize its plat form with its sister companies in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and has confirmed it is launching this week, something that will see it cover almost four partner states unlike the first cross border mobile money done by Tigo Rwanda.
Accordingly, Tigo Rwanda together with its sister company in Tanzania launched the cross border Tigo cash, although it was limited to only two countries. Teddy Bhullar, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director said that pilot phrase aimed at harmonizing of the plat forms because successful and has since given a positive single to launch the cross border Airtel Money. “Since the start of the Pilot Phase in October last year, Airtel Rwanda has since received approval from the Central Bank and our counterparts in region have also finalized acquiring the same,” Bhullar earlier told Media.
But also MTN Rwandacell has also announced it is financed partnership deals with Safari com in Kenya and Vodacom in Tanzania which are also subsidiary of UK based Vodafone to allow cross border mobile money transactions. Norman Munyampundu, the head of mobile money at MTN Rwanda notes that they are expecting to launch the transaction in the coming weeks after all the necessary testing are done.
Under the cross border arrangements, subscriber in one country will be able to send money using their m mobile phone and in their currency to a subscriber in Kenya and Tanzania and the to the receives the money in their currency. Mobile money – the use of cell phones for money transfers, payments and more sophisticated financial activities such as credit, savings, and insurance – is increasingly popular in East Africa.