Safaricom eyes Rwanda, Tanzania markets

NAIROBI- Safaricom has announced that it hopes to take its Money Transfer product called M-Pesa to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, the United Arab Emirates and eventually the United States, countries with big Kenyan populations.

NAIROBI- Safaricom has announced that it hopes to take its Money Transfer product called M-Pesa to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, the United Arab Emirates and eventually the United States, countries with big Kenyan populations.

Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph said recently that the Kenyan mobile operator extended its money transfer service to Britain on Tuesday and may roll it out to other countries.

The service – commonly known as M-Pesa - transfers over 600 million shillings daily and has handled 230 billion shillings ($3.05 billion) since it was set up in March 2007.

The system has close to 7.5 million registered users and has grown into the primary method of transfering small cash amounts across Kenya, reaching the most remote villages.

With the British launch, users can send a maximum of 250 sterling pounds ($395) per transaction for a cost of 6.90 pounds and have a 1,000 pounds limit per month.

Joseph said Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecoms player which is partially owned by Britain’s Vodafone had contracted Western Union, Provident Capital and KenTvas as its agents.

Banks have been unable or unwilling to extend their services to rural Kenya where the majority of the population is poor and only needs basic financial services.

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