Safaricom’s MPesa Mobile Money Transfer Now Goes International
Now with MPesa’s IMT (International Money Transfer) service, you can now receive money now from over 80,000 Western Union outlets in the World straight into your MPesa Account in Kenya. All one needs to do to send money to Kenya is to visit the participating countries Western Union outlet. Though the service is still not on offer in all Western Union outlets across the World but Safaricom promises to add more outlets as time goes. A full list of participating outlets is available at the Safaricom website.The service was initially launched in 2009 and was operational only in the UK, that is money could only be sent from the UK to Kenya. The service has become quite successful and that’s probably a reason for the expansion to other parts of the World.Good strategy for Western union since its business has come really under threat with the emergence of Mobile Money Transfer services especially in developing countries. Currently the service is being offered in 45 countries though more countries to be included in the near future. Some notable countries you can send money from to Kenya include:Uganda,Tanzania, Rwanda,United States of America, Canada, Hong Kong,Singapore,United Arab Emirates,France,Malaysia,Denmark,Belgium,Sweden.For a complete IMT agents list.
Receivers-For Kenyan receivers, the transactions will be as usual i.e. you won’t be charged for receiving any money but to withdraw cash via an MPesa agent outlet or send to another Safaricom line,the normal charges will apply.
Senders-According to Safaricom website,the charges for someone to send money to Kenya will depend on the country the money is being sent from,the agent at which the money is being sent from and the amount being sent.According to Kentvchumz.net,an authorized MPesa Agent in the UK,here is what it costs to send money from the UK to Kenya in £(Pounds) with approximate Kenyan shilling Values.
FEE TABLE FOR SENDING MONEY FROM UK TO KENYA
|£1(Ksh 134)||£150(Ksh 20,100)||£4(Ksh 536)|
|£151(Ksh 20,234)||£250(Ksh 33,500)||£6(Ksh 804)|
|Currency Symbol ‘£’ (British Pound or Pound Sterling) is the currency for UKThe conversions are approximate figures.Click here for more current Forex rates.1£=Ksh 134|
From the fee table above, the maximum transactional value seemed to have been set at Ksh 35,000 though Safaricom has since revised their transactional limits. A receiver in Kenya shall receive the money in Kenya Shillings, the prevailing exchange will be used and will be advised to the sender in the origin country, so you won’t have to worry how you will convert the currency into Kenya Shillings.
M-PESA TRANSACTIONAL LIMITS
M-pesa revised its transactional values to allow ones account to hold a maximum of Ksh 100,000 at any given time i.e. approximately USD 1205 using a current forex rate of 1USD=KES 83 though one can transact daily values of upto Ksh 140,000 i.e. approximately USD 1687.Well,this is good news for anyone who intends to do business via M-Pesa Internationally.
What this means? This innovation not only opens a new avenue for of Kenyans in Diaspora to send money back home faster and cheaply but also gives a whole range of business opportunities to Kenyan traders. God knows how long, aspiring Kenyan ecommerce entrepreneurs have been waiting for an alternate ecommerce payment gateway to PayPal and other players who have taken so long to develop solutions for the Kenyan market. An ecommerce payment gateway has been a big setback for all those entrepreneurs who wished to do business with the World but as the Western Union network expands and more outlets are added-Kenya is now open to the World for ecommerce transactions e.g. This innovation will allow someone in for example a trader in Kisii to receive payment from anywhere in the World in real time. For those who were using PayPal accounts for ecommerce, don’t close them, for now you will need them to at least send money since one can only receive payments in Kenya but you cannot send money outside Kenya via M-Pesa. Work now to programmers to take up the task to allow for the system to be integrated into website ecommerce systems as an ecommerce payment gateway to achieve its full potential. By M-Pesa going global, mobile money transfer has being pushed to a whole new level and lets hope it can bear the brunt of global money transactions. It’s going to attract a whole lot of opportunities,new opportunities for investors to trade and con people alike targeting people transacting to Kenya. For it to keep “Changing Lives” as the M-Pesa tagline goes, all we wish for is for Mpesa to maintain its integrity as a secure money transfer system and its reliability i.e. we need fast real time (no delay) and secure transactions.