Western Union has partnered with Safaricom, Kenya’s mobile network and wallet provider to allow 28 million M-Pesa users to send outbound money transfers overseas.
In what has been dubbed a global-first, M-Pesa customers can now leverage Western Union’s global-money movement platform to make cross-border payments in over 200 countries and territories, circumventing traditional infrastructure.
Western Union’s cross-border platform processed around 32 transactions every second and $300 billion across 130 currencies in 2017.
While M-Pesa wallet holders can already receive money, this integration of platforms has allowed Safaricom to scale its business in a way that shows that the Kenyan pioneer is continuing the financial inclusion revolution.
1.7 billion transactions are processed over M-Pesa annually, equivalent to over 50% of Kenya’s GDP value and Safaricom has enabled millions of Kenyans to manage their money on mobile wallets within the East African region.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, chief financial services officer at Safaricom, says: “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.”