Africa gets its first interoperability mobile money service

mobile money Gates Foundation flickrWith interoperability service, users can transfer money between mobile networks. (Image source: Gates Foundation/Flickr)Tigo, the subsidiary of digital services provider Millicom, has joined forces with Airtel and Zantel in Tanzania, allowing customers to send money through mobile handsets

Customers can now send money through their cellphones, using Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money or EzyPesa, stated Millicom.

"We are delighted to work with our counterparts to extend the mobile money universe in Tanzania. With this agreement we can help make Tanzania a global pioneer in digital financial inclusion.

"Interoperability will be a catalyst for growth in the mobile money sector and is long overdue. It's an example to operators in other countries," said Hans-Holger Albrecht, president and CEO of Millicom.

For the first time in Africa interoperable mobile money services will be available, where one network allows another network's customers to send money to its own clients, Millicom said. 

Tigo has more than 6.2mn customers in Tanzania overall and 3.4mn customers use Tigo Pesa mobile money service. Millicom stated that nearly 16mn users will be able to use the new service in Tanzania.

Telecom operator Vodafone has supported the idea of interoperability and is keen on making a similar deal with Vodacom in Tanzania, stated reports.

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