Western union and MTN partners, introducing a cross border mobile money transfers

The MTN group and one of the largest global payment services Western Union have agreed on a partnership in 21 countries across Africa and the Middle East. The service is to allow direct remittance into mobile wallets. You will be able to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions using your MTN mobile money accounts. The funds can be used to pay bills, send money internally and internationally.

The strategy behind the Western Union and MTN agreement is simple: to introduce international remittances as a value-added service to MTN mobile wallets, called MobileMoney accounts, allowing consumers to quickly and conveniently send and receive money transfers globally using just their mobile phones, said Khalid Fellahi, head of mobile transaction services at Western Union, Englewood, CO. 

The service will first roll out in Uganda with over 1 million registered users as it is considered as one of the most successful mobile wallet deployment. Ghana also boasts of one of the countries with a tremendous number of mobile money users. MTN’s Mobile Money service in partnership with local banks is currently available in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, with pilots underway in several other markets. 

How the service works

  •  Users are required to register for MTN mobile money wallet (with a valid national ID).
  • Registered users can now receive Western Union money transfers into their wallet.
  • You can receive up to 500 Ghana cedis per transaction.
  • Once the funds are deposited into the wallet, customers will receive an SMS confirmation

To receive in local currency in person, customers can go to over 135,000 MTN Mobile Money Agent locations and over 200 Partner Banks ATM for a cardless withdrawal. Since the adoption of mobile money transfer is spreading quickly, the aim is to reach a global audience: for people to freely send and transfer money using this service

Mobile Money Transfer is still in its nascent stage, Mr Fallahi said. We expect to see significant growth over the next several years, as mobile operators such as MTN, along with financial institutions and vendors, work together to make mobile money a reality across the globe.

Centralized banking services are good but not the best, they can be better. I am a fan of using a more decentralized approach to render business and transactions. Until cryptocurrency and the use of blockchain is widely adopted in Fintech, we have no choice but stick to a centralized system. 
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