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25 February, at 16 : 46 PM Print
Tigo, a subsidiary of the international telecommunications and Media Company Millicom telecom, through its Mobile Financial Services today announced the launch of a pioneering cross-border Mobile Money remittance service between Tanzania and Rwanda.
For the first time, Tigo customers will be able to convert Rwandan francs to Tanzanian shillings and vice versa between the two countries in the few seconds it takes to send a transaction via mobile phone.
The service was launched simultaneously in Kigali and Dar-es-Salaam in the presence of Rwandan High Commissioner in Tanzania, Dr Ben Rugangazi, and the High Commissioner of Tanzania in Rwanda, Ambassador Francis Mwaipaja and Rwanda’s Finance Minister Claver Gatete who undertook the first mobile money transactions between the two countries.
The new service allows Tigo subscribers in Tanzania to send money from their Tigo Pesa accounts to Tigo Cash subscribers in Rwanda and vice versa.
The system integrates currency conversion, whereby money is sent in either Tanzania Shillings or Rwandan Francs and delivered already converted into in the currency of the recipient’s country
Tongai Maramba, the General Manager of Tigo Rwanda said: “We are pleased to offer Tigo Cash customers the ability to send and receive international transfers directly via their phones.
It is an added convenience that they can receive directly as Rwandan Francs because the traditional money transfer companies mostly deliver only dollars. This product enables consumers not to worry about exchanging money.”
Murenzi Abdallah, a transporter working with a Kigali based transport and Logistics Company on the route Dar-es-Salaam-Kigali-Goma expressed excitement over the new service:
“I am excited about the opportunity to receive money directly on my mobile while in Tanzania. My life will be a lot easier in terms of making different tax payments at border posts and other needs on my long and difficult journeys.” He said.
Millicom’s President and CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht said at a keynote session at the mobile industry’s global event, the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, today:
“This innovation means the benefits of mobile money can be extended to cross-border trade, allowing businesses and families to transfer money quickly and securely in East Africa. It’s just another example of how Millicom adapts to its customers’ needs with digital solutions.”
Millicom offers Mobile Financial Services in Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, DRC, Chad, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Senegal and Paraguay and will extend its offering to more services and into more markets over time.
To send money from Tigo Pesa (Tanzania) to Tigo Cash (Rwanda) users, customers dial *150*90# while those in Rwanda remitting to Tanzania dial *200*7#. This service can be used from any Tigo mobile phone. Customers in their respective countries will receive their money immediately in their routine currency.
The new service will particularly benefit the businesses with cross-border trade, diaspora families, truck drivers, importers and exporters from both countries.
In 2013, Rwanda imports from Tanzania amounted to 80,883,702 US dollars while Tanzania received imports valued at 231,695,265 US dollars from Rwanda the same year.
The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) recently revealed that money pushed through mobile money service platforms has more than doubled over the past year- with over Rwf330b (about $492.3m) was pushed through mobile money platforms last year, a 105 per cent increase from Rwf161b (about $240.2m) recorded in 2012.