Telecoms company, Vodafone, is expanding the reach of its M-Pesa mobile money platform, by entering into a remittance hub for cross-border cash transfers involving 35 countries. M-Pesa which was launched in 2007 has become an established quasi-currency due to its heavy use in Kenya, as well as being popular in other African nations such as South Africa and Tanzania. The SMS-based service allows users to be paid, and pay, using their mobile phones.
According to several reports, Vodafone will connect M-Pesa to the HomeSend hub operated by carrier services firm Bics, which will enable users to utilise around 21 international money transfer businesses in 35 countries. HomeSend acts as an open and neutral intermediary system between participants to allow the flow of electronic mobile money beyond national boundaries, regardless of the mobile network provider.
The extension of the service comes as Vodafone looks at ways to increase the mobile money business in other countries, and beyond basic payment systems into other areas of financial services such as insurance and banking.