MTN Rwanda mobile money subscribers can now send money to their relatives and business partners on MTN Uganda network, months after the telecom announced plans to start cross-border mobile money transfers.
According to a statement from MTN Rwanda, the service will in the meantime be ‘one way’ as they await MTN Uganda to get the necessary approvals from the Bank of Uganda to allow users to send money to Rwanda from Uganda using MTN Uganda mobile money platform.
Cross-border mobile money service has been pending after MTN and Bharti Airtel announced plans to start cross-border mobile money transfers between the Northern Corridor states Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda in November last year.
And in April this year, MTN Group signed a collaboration agreement that will allow MTN mobile money users in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia to make international remittances with Vodafone’s M-Pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania, the DR Congo and Mozambique; and vice versa.
“MTN Rwanda has got all the necessary regulatory approvals to start the service with MTN Uganda. MTN Uganda will confirm their readiness to launch the service in the coming few days,” the telecom firm said in the statement yesterday.
Once fully operational in all the countries, experts say the cross-border mobile transfer service will help boost trade in the region and lower the cost of transactions.
To send money to an MTN Uganda mobile money, dial *830# and follow prompts.
Tigo Rwanda and Tigo Tanzania launched the service in February last year, with the total number of cross-border mobile money transactions standing at over 6,245 transactions worth Rwf248 million between February and December 2014, according to the central bank monetary policy and financial stability statement for 2014.
Airtel Rwanda said they are also ready to roll out the service once their counterparts get the necessary approvals.
“Airtel Rwanda is technically set to launch cross-border money transfers with Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania once we receive authorisation from the respective countries,” said Airtel Money director, Stephen Waiswa, yesterday. “We anticipate that this will be soon...in coming weeks.
However, customers of Airtel Rwanda are currently able to send and receive money from Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Niger and Zambia.”