by PHYLLIS BIRORI
TELECOMMUNICATIONS operators in the continent are seen recognising how interoperability is necessary to reap the full benefits of Mobile Money.
This is according to WorldRemit, the international money transfer agency.
The observation follows the launch of Mobile Money transfers between Rwanda and Uganda by MTN.
“International remittances via Mobile Money are growing both in Africa and globally,” Alix Murphy, Senior Mobile Analyst at WorldRemit.
He said there were now over 260 Mobile Money services worldwide with over 100 million active users.
Murphy said the Mobile Money interoperability initiatives that exist between telecoms operators remained intra-country or intra-continent, as most lacked the underlying infrastructure for money transfers internationally across continents.
“Money transfer services such as WorldRemit act as a hub to connect these disparate systems and enable seamless money transfers from abroad directly into Mobile Money wallets at a fraction of the cost of the traditional money transfer industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, presently, over 60 percent of WorldRemit’s international money transfers to Uganda go to mobile wallet services, demonstrating the important role Mobile Money plays for Ugandans living in the Diaspora.
Ugandans abroad send home $994 million every year, the majority of which is still sent and collected at high-street agents and cash pick-up locations.
“As soon as we began offering transfers to Mobile Money in Uganda it rapidly overtook all other receive options, including both cash pick-up and bank deposits, as the preferred option for sending money home,” said Murphy.