MTN and Airtel mobile money subscribers will this month start sending and receiving money across the East African region.
According to a statement from MTN Rwanda, once the pending documents between the telecom firm, National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and the Central Bank of Uganda and MTN Uganda are signed, the service will be rolled out.
Meanwhile, Airtel which has already kicked off a pilot phase of the project will soon roll out the full initiative across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, during the course of the month.
Chidi Okpala, director and Airtel Money Africa head said during last month’s East Africa Business Summit in Kigali that the service will extend convenience by way of cost efficiency and reach while facilitating remittances and trade within East Africa.
The initiative will help boost cross border trade and lower the cost of transactions across the region, experts have said.
Other analysts are seeing the initiative as being critical towards faster regional integration and boosting financial inclusion.
Tigo Rwanda and Tigo Tanzania launched the service in February this year with the total number of cross border mobile money transactions standing at more than 3,097 transactions reflecting a total value of Rwf121.3 million according to central bank statistics.
“Mobile money is good for speeding up transactions, saving time and money for people and businesses. Once cross border mobile money transfers are launched, I’ll immediately switch to it as I usually send money to my children studying in Uganda,” said Denise Umuhuza, a city trader.