Tanzanians can now send each other mobile money regardless of network. This comes after Vodacom’s M-Pesa joins an interoperable network set up by Tigo, Zantel and Airtel, creating Africa’s first universally interoperable mobile money network.

This means that more than 16 million Tanzanian mobile money users on the four largest networks will be able to conduct transactions with one another regardless of which mobile operator they use.

The network started out in June 2014, when Tigo, Airtel and Zantel announced an agreement that would allow their customers to send money between their mobile money accounts, leading to an increase of 3.5 times the value of total offline transactions. After announcing it would join the interoperable network one year ago, Vodacom has now implemented the deal.

The country’s 16 million mobile financial users transact the equivalent of more than 50% of Tanzania’s GDP each month, making the country East Africa’s biggest mobile money user by transaction volume, overtaking Kenya.

“We believe interoperability is crucial to the success of mobile money and the wider goal of increasing financial inclusion”, Tigo Tanzania Head of Mobile Financial Services, Ruan Swanepoel said.

“It is also a fundamental building block towards constructing a digital economy, enabling merchants and other startups to participate in the financial services ecosystem. Our aim going forward is to reach similar agreements with networks in other markets.”

Photo Credit: whiteafrican via Compfight cc

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