According to Director Financial Services at Safaricom Betty Mwangi, the initiative will enable customers send money between the two countries and transact businesses.
“This initiative will also provide a reliable and affordable way for businesses to transact, thereby helping grow the East African economy,” she added.
The initiative follows the introduction of the new M-PESA platform, which allows up to 600 transactions per second which assists in deepening financial inclusion through integration with existing and emerging Financial Services platforms.
The partnership comes at a time when mobile money has been cited as the greatest facilitator of a cashless economy in Rwanda, accounting for a 120 percent growth in subscribers from 2.5million in December 2014 to about 5.5million this year.
“As a country, we are still finding our path to financial inclusion and I believe that this new partnership will be a powerful driver of economic growth. The partnership has the potential to expanding financial inclusion, especially with the growing usage of mobile money in Rwanda,” said General Manager of MTN Business, Norman Munyampundu.
Munyampundu added that Rwanda was witnessing huge technological changes that have the potential to usher in a new era of financial inclusion.
To access the service, Safaricom and MTN customers will be required to dial *840# from their handsets and follow prompts and access a Cost Calculator that will show them the equivalent amount to send based on prevailing foreign exchange rates. Upon sending they will receive two messages to confirm that the transaction has gone through.
This follows a similar partnership that Safaricom made with Vodacom Tanzania to introduce cross-border transaction between customers on the respective networks.