The move is aimed at deepening financial inclusion and boosting regional trade.
This is the second partnership of its nature this year, after Safaricom partnered with Vodacom Tanzania to introduce cross-border transaction between customers on the respective networks.
The initiative will not only be of benefit to the customers who may need to send money between the two countries.
“It will also provide a reliable and affordable way for businesses to transact, thereby helping grow the East African economy,” said Betty Mwangi, Director- Financial Services at Safaricom.
The announcement comes at an opportune time, with the introduction of the new M-PESA platform, which gives us the capacity to handle up to 600 transactions per second.
This is helping deepen financial inclusion through integration with existing and emerging Financial Services platforms.
Statistics from Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT indicate that as of December 2014, mobile money was the greatest facilitator of cashless economy in Rwanda, accounting for a 120 per cent growth in subscribers.
This is up from 2 538 651 to about 5 585 075 during the year.
General Manager of MTN Business, Norman Munyampundu, said Rwanda was still finding its path to financial inclusion.
He believes the new partnership will be a powerful driver of economic growth.
“The partnership has the potential to expanding financial inclusion, especially with the growing usage of mobile money in Rwanda,” he said.
Although Rwanda is making real progress in a number of areas, it is witnessing huge technological changes that have the potential to usher in a new era of financial inclusion.
To access the service, Safaricom and MTN customers will be required to dial *840# from their handsets and follow prompts.
With presence in 10 countries; Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Lesotho, DRC, Egypt, Mozambique, India, Romania, and Fiji, M-PESA has emerged as the most compelling mobile-money proposition for individual and corporate transactions.
– CAJ News