The mobile service carrier, Tigo has grown to become the only mobile money service providers in Tanzania to offer interoperability with Airtel, Vodacom and Zantel.
Feb 18, Tigo Tanzania announced that it subscribers of the mobile money services Tigo Pesa will now be able to move their money between any of the operators in Tanzania. A move made possible as more carriers join the interoperable network comprising of Airtel, Tigo and Zantel with Vodacom’s M-Pesa just recently. So far, only Tigo offers interoperability with the other mobile money services offered by Airtel, Vodacom and Zantel.
With these four carriers on board of an interoperable network, this means more than 16 million mobile money users in Tanzania can conduct transactions with each other their mobile carriers notwithstanding. This also creates the first universal interoperable mobile money network in Africa.
Airtel, Tigo and Zantel pioneered the interoperability agreement in June 2014, ever since then their customers have enjoyed the sending and receiving money from each other regardless of the carrier. Something that led to3.5 times increase in the number of offline mobile money transactions. Vodacom was the carrier that came late to the party, even though it had announced plans to join the interoperable network about a year ago. However, now that it has joined, customers stand to benefit even better.
Interoperability in Tanzania today is not exclusive to mobile operators, and also includes more than 25 banks. The country’s 16 million mobile financial users transact the equivalent of more than 50% of Tanzania’s GDP each month. Thanks to this growing network, Tanzania is now the leading place for mobile money in East Africa, overtaking Kenya.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Tigo Tanzania Head of Mobile Financial Services, Ruan Swanepoel, said: “With Tigo Pesa, customers will now benefit from faster, cheaper and safer cashless transactions with anyone across the country.”
Swanepoel continued, “We believe interoperability is crucial to the success of mobile money and the wider goal of increasing financial inclusion. It is also a fundamental building block towards constructing a digital economy, enabling merchants and other start-ups to participate in the financial services ecosystem. Our aim going forward is to reach similar agreements with networks in other markets.”