Western Union, Safaricom add M-Pesa global cross-border payments

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Kenyans using the M-Pesa wallet to make payments and receive funds can now send cross-border payments through a connection with Western Union's global platform.

Western Union and Safaricom, the mobile network and M-Pesa wallet provider in Kenya, say the partnership and wallet integration that creates M-Pesa Global will enable 28 million M-Pesa users to send money transfers overseas.

“M-Pesa Global reflects the evolution of customer needs in Kenya and Safaricom’s ability to anticipate and meet these needs — from facilitating inbound money transfers, domestic transfers across wallets, to now offering outbound, cross-border money transfers via Western Union,” Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, chief financial services officer at Safaricom, said in a Wednesday press release.

Western Union’s global money movement platform allows payments in more than 200 countries and territories. The platform processed about 32 transactions every second and $300 billion across 130 currencies in 2017.

Approximately 1.7 billion transactions are processed over M-Pesa annually, equivalent to more than 50 percent of Kenya’s GDP value, Safaricom said.

M-Pesa has enabled millions of Kenyans to manage their money through mobile wallets within the East African region, and Safaricom views the integration with Western Union as furthering its commitment to financial inclusion in the region.

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Cross border payments Mobile wallets Mobile payments Western Union Kenya