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Safaricom’s M-Pesa has signed an international money transfer agreement with digital payments network Onafriq to help streamline remittance flows to Ethiopia

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Under the agreement, Safaricom customers in Ethiopia will receive remittances from different parts of the world through M-Pesa, based on the authorisation the company received in July 2023 from the National Bank of Ethiopia to start the remittance service.

MPesa allows Safaricom sim card holders to transact through a mobile phone without the need for a bank account and the incorporation of international money transfer into the service allows it to tap into Onafriq’s extensive network.

With operations in 40 African countries, Onafriq is Africa’s largest digital payments network and its reach enables domestic and cross-border disbursements and collections, card issuing and processing, agency banking, and treasury services.

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The company says it connects 500 million mobile money wallets and 200 million bank accounts.

“Our goal is to make payments easier, and the incorporation of international money transfer services into M-Pesa serves that purpose perfectly. Ethiopia generates more than five billion USD in remittances annually and this partnership will provide the Ethiopian diaspora with an easy and fast formal channel to send money to their loved ones in Ethiopia,” said Paul Kavavu, General Manager at Safaricom Ethiopia.

Nika Naghavi, Group Head of Growth at Onafriq, added; “The agreement with M-Pesa Safaricom extends our reach in Africa even further and strengthens our position as the largest payment network on the continent. We are confident that this partnership will positively impact economic growth and the achievement of greater sustainable development goals.”

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The service complements Ethiopia’s efforts to generate foreign currency inflow through formal channels.

Safaricom Ethiopia received a Payment Instrument Issuer License from the National Bank of Ethiopia in May 2023 and went operational in August 2023. 

Samuel Musila
Samuel Musila
Passionate Software Developer and Tech content creator From Nairobi, Kenya

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