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Western Union partners with M-Pesa for international mobile money transfers

March 31st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Business, General, Technology, Travel

Western Union has announced a partnership with M-PESA, the popular Kenyan mobile cash-transfer service. This deal opens up Western Union’s huge money transfer network to the Safaricon-owned “mobile wallet” service. The parnership will allow customers in US, UK and other countries to transfer money to a Safaricom/M-Pesa user’s account and the receiver will receive an SMS message from M-PESA notifying them that the money is available in their account.

Kenyans living abroad can now send money to their relatives back home through Safaricom’s mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa.
This is after Safaricom and Western Union signed an agreement, which enables Kenyans living in 45 countries in the US, Asia, Europe and Africa to access the now world famous M-Pesa service.
Although they can send up to Sh35,000 per transaction, limits per day, per month or per year will depend on the country the money is sent from, following the link-up that is likely to give the NSE listed firm a head start in the increasingly competitive mobile telephony market.
“Through this partnership, our customers and their friends and families will benefit from affordable, faster and more convenient international remittances,” said Safaricom chief executive officer, Bob Collymore.
Mr David Yates, of Western Union, applauded the service as an impressive adoption of the mobile channel.
“Cash payout through M-Pesa is projected to go up from 23 per cent to 40 per cent, as the traditional cash payout will take the rest,” Mr Yates said.
The transaction is similar to a traditional cash-to-cash money transfer, except that the sender specifies the recipient’s mobile phone number at the time the funds are sent.
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Insights on mobile banking & advertising in Africa (videos)

January 5th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted in Business, General, Technology

If you’ve been following this website or been engaged in any recent conversation about Africa’s future, you can’t have missed a mention about mobile technology innovation and it’s impact in Africa. For the curious or uninitiated, here are a couple of videos which focus on the trend and give some insight particularly in the banking and advertising industries.

Banking revolution saving lives in Africa (CNN)

According to the Bureau of International Information Programs at the U.S. State Department, around one million of Tanzania’s 41 million inhabitants use mobile phone technology to carry out financial transactions and save money.
At the same time, only 12% of the population have a formal bank account, while almost half of them own a cell phone.

M-Pesa: Kenya teaches the developed world about the mobile wallet (BBC)

In developing world countries like Kenya, the technology to do this has been around for several years – and you do not need a bank account to use it. M-Pesa launched in 2007, and there are now nearly 100 services like it around the world, mainly in developing countries. Can the developed world learn from Kenya’s experience with the mobile wallet?

Mobile Advertising in Africa (A talk by Ankit Rawal of InMobi)

Ankit Rawal, Head of Advertising, Africa, InMobi speaks about the state of mobile advertising in Africa at iHub in Kenya.

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African Presidents need Blackberries

August 19th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Business, Politics, Technology, Travel

How might African leaders react to its [technology-enabled] active and reflexive citizenry? One option is to befriend the technology and use its potential to improve lives….The choice a government makes between allowing the technology to enable, and using it to control will depend somewhat on how familiar the head of state is with the technology. In the interests of free self-expression, they should all get Blackberries.


While I agree with the assertion that African governments should embrace technology, there needs to also be the right checks and balances. Citizens are already finding innovative ways to use technology to supplement infrastructure gaps and get access to opportunities. By tapping into the informal processes of citizens, governments can better understand where the major gaps are, if they don’t already.

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African markets in top 20 as mobile advertising continues strong growth in Q2 2009

August 5th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in Business, General, Technology

(photo by uzimagazine on flickr)

With traditional advertising revenue continuing it's downward spiral, mobile advertising continues to dominate advertising growth areas globally. BuzzCity, a global provider of wireless communities and consumer services, recently released it's Global Mobile Advertising Index report for the second quarter of 2009, showing some good numbers and areas of interest. Among the top 10 ranking countries for ad banners served in the companies mobile internet advertising network, South Africa holds the #4 spot behind Indonesia, India, and the United States (numbers 1 – 3). Egypt comes in at #7, followed by Kenya (#10), Nigeria (#14), Libya (#17), and Tanzania (#18). These numbers support what many analysts have been saying for years, mobile phones and their use in Africa and other emerging markets are the growth areas of the 21st century.

Full list of the top 20 countries by the number of paid advertising banners delivered in each (compared to Q1 2009 results):

  1. Indonesia: 3.78 billion (-14%)
  2. India: 1.07 billion (+28%)
  3. United States: 487 million (-8%)
  4. South Africa: 461 million (+8%)
  5. United Kingdom: 133 million (+17%)
  6. Philippines: 124 million (-1%)
  7. Egypt: 108 million (-34%)
  8. China: 95 million (-27%)
  9. Saudi Arabia: 92 million (+63%)
  10. Kenya: 92 million (+15%)
  11. Malaysia: 81 million (2%)
  12. Canada: 79 million (5%)
  13. Thailand: 73 million (11%)
  14. Nigeria: 60 million (-34%)
  15. Bangladesh: 57 million (-49%)
  16. France: 50 million (26%)
  17. Libya: 48 million (-44%)
  18. Tanzania: 48 million (-42%)
  19. Italy 43 million (23%)
  20. Brunei 42 million (-42%)

(via BizCommunity)

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