By Standard Reporter
Tigo, one of the largest east African mobile operators, has launched a new service allowing its subscribers in Tanzania to send money from their Tigo Pesa accounts to Tigo Cash subscribers in Rwanda and vice versa.
In a statement issued to Xinhua, in Kigali, Tigo said the system integrates currency conversion, whereby money is sent in either Tanzania shillings or Rwandan francs and delivered already converted into in the currency of the recipient’s country.
“This is the first product of its kind in the world that allows dual currency international mobile wallet to mobile wallet transfers with currency conversion included,” the statement added. It is said that once the remittance is received, customers can use the funds to access all the services and benefits that Tigo Mobile Financial Services offer.
Airtime top ups
According to senior manager at Tigo-Rwanda Pierre Kayitana, these include airtime top ups, payments for water, electricity, TV and transportation, transfers to bank accounts, cash withdrawals at any Tigo agent across the country, and convenient transfers to other mobile money users.
Moreover, the new service will particularly benefit the businesses with cross-border trade, diaspora families, truck drivers, importers and exporters from both countries.
Official statistics indicates Rwanda imports from Tanzania amounted to about 81 million US dollars in 2013, while Tanzania received imports valued at about 232 million US dollars from Rwanda the same year.
Mobile phone penetration rate in Rwanda has increased considerably over the past five years, from 6.2 per cent in 2006 to 45.2 per cent at the end of 2012, according to sources.
Dr Ben Rugagazi, the Rwandan High Commissioner to Tanzania, indicated that the service would increase bilateral financial transactions between citizens and allow businesses of the two countries to prosper.