Safaricom uses Western Union platform in customer-first breakthrough

Newsroom By Odilon Almeida Nov 14, 2018

Last week, Western Union and Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile network operator and provider of M-PESA, one of the most widely used mobile wallets in the world, announced a breakthrough collaboration that unlocks global money transfers for more than 28 million mobile wallet holders, by leveraging the Western Union® global money movement platform.

In a global first, we are powering Safaricom — a company that has revolutionized financial inclusion with their e-wallet — to scale money transfers to more than 200 countries and territories. M-PESA Global, a newly optimized feature, makes it easier for customers to send money from their wallet in Kenya for pay-out across more than half a million retail Agent locations globally or directly via Western Union’s access to billions of accounts and wallets.

A year ago, I had the pleasure to visit Safaricom’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and meet Safaricom’s CEO Robert Collymore and Chief Financial Services Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit. While discussing the future ahead of us, the opportunity of opening M-PESA to the world became a natural fit.

Our joint-announcement last week, in San Francisco and Nairobi, is a testament that great things result from collaboration. It doesn’t really matter where you are from or how old you are – a US-based pioneer with more than 167 years or a Kenya-based pioneer with 18: innovation comes from everywhere.

This breakthrough will spur a world of new possibilities for mobile financial service operators to directly scale money movement globally.

This collaboration allows, for the first time, a third-party to move money for their customers across the world under their own brand and leveraging Western Union global money transfer platform.

To succeed in the global person to person money transfer industry, a company must be guided by what customers want, which includes supporting a variety of payments cultures and preferences of today’s global money movers, amidst a mix of traditional infrastructure and the prolific adoption of smartphones.

Learn more about this great achievement and how M-PESA works in these Reuter Plus videos.