Western Union powers M-PESA to send money globally

15464455376 75e38b92f5 zMore than 28mn M-PESA Wallet holders can send money to Western Union’s worldwide pay-out network. (Image source: USAID/FLickr)Safaricom, Kenya's mobile network operator and M-PESA provider, and Western Union have again joined forces to unlock global money transfers for more than 28mn mobile wallet holders

This process will be made possible through the use of Western Union® global money movement platform.

M-PESA mobile wallet holders can now send money globally to family and loved ones with the activation of M-PESA Global, powered by Western Union financial services firm.

Wallet holders can use their wallet funds to send money to Western Union retail agents in more than 200 countries and territories or to access billions of accounts directly through Western Union.

M-PESA’s national mobile wallet has revolutionised financial inclusion for over a decade by enabling millions of Kenyans to receive money from abroad, store and send money or make payments locally, and leapfrog traditional infrastructure.

M- PESA wallet holders already have the option of receiving money through Western Union from around the world.

Odilon Almeida, president of Western Union Global Money Transfer, said, “Safaricom’s electronic M-PESA wallet has been optimised to send and receive money across the world. It is another unique integration of our platforms to scale global connectivity.”

“We believe this breakthrough collaboration with Safaricom will spur a world of new possibilities for mobile financial service operators. It will become a model for opening a world of global connectivity and economic opportunity for emerging as well as developed economies,” added Almeida.

More than 1.7bn transactions are processed annually over M- PESA, which is equivalent to over 50 per cent of Kenya's GDP.

Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, chief financial services officer at Safaricom, commented, “By opening up M-PESA to the world, we aim to enable a world of opportunity for Kenyans by making it easy and seamless for them to connect with the world.”

“M-PESA Global reflects the evolution of customer needs in Kenya and Safaricom’s ability to anticipate and meet these needs – from facilitating inbound money transfers, domestic transfers across wallets, to now offering outbound, cross-border money transfers via Western Union,” concluded Lopokoiyit.

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