Magazine article New African

Sending Money Made Simple: Vodacom Tanzania Has Revolutionised Money Transfers in the Country, Thanks to an Innovative Service Called M-PESA That Enables Money to Be Sent Via Mobile Phones

Magazine article New African

Sending Money Made Simple: Vodacom Tanzania Has Revolutionised Money Transfers in the Country, Thanks to an Innovative Service Called M-PESA That Enables Money to Be Sent Via Mobile Phones

Article excerpt

When Vodacom Tanzania introduced Vodafone M-PESA services in April 2008, few could predict its impact on the market and the local population. Today it has transformed the way people do business and improved life for many in the country.

Prior to the introduction of Vodafone M-PESA, money transfer services in Tanzania were mainly offered through personal contact, courier services and financial services institutions. The introduction of Vodafone M-PESA was therefore a "revolution" to the 29% of the population who had access to mobile phones. Since its launch in 2008, Vodacom now has over 1.5 million Vodafone M-PESA subscribers.

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Now businessmen are able to make payments quicker as well as anywhere, day or night. The hassle of carrying money is becoming a thing of the past and the fear of not getting money to loved ones in time, is no more. With M-Pesa, one can spend, send, and receive money, according to Dietlof Mare, the vodacom Tanzania managing director. "With an M-PESA account, one can transfer money to anyone with a mobile phone number. Apart from that, people are also able to pay their utility bills, cable television subscriptions, repay loans, pay tuition fees, and various forms of charitable contributions, using this reliable service," says Mare.

He adds: "Due to the costs involved in establishing traditional banking facilities, it is difficult to build banks in every village but with M-PESA we have been able to penetrate regions not reachable by many. …

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