Ugandans in diaspora set to send cash via mobile money

Tuesday January 12 2016
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Customers make transactions at a mobile money kiosk.

Kampala. Ugandans living abroad could, by March this year, be able to send money directly to MTN mobile money accounts of people in Uganda.
Online money transfer business firm, Worldremit, is set to partner with MTN Uganda to actualise this.
According to one account, the partnership will be launched at the end of this month in Kampala.
When contacted, MTN Uganda was, however, noncommittal.


“Nothing has been set in terms of dates. We will communicate,” an MTN official, who preferred anonymity because official communication was not yet ready, said.
Should the partnership come to pass, Ugandans in the diaspora who want to send money home will have to install a Worldremit application on their phones.
This will be synchronised with those of MTN mobile money users where the money is to be sent.
Over the last 10 years, the amount of money remitted by Ugandans abroad has been increasing.
According to the 2015/16 Budget speech, the remittances increased from $411 million (Sh1.4 trillion) in 2006 to $816 million (Sh2.8 trillion) in 2011 and had reached $915 million (Sh3.1 trillion) in 2014. Much of it was sent via Western Union or MoneyGram and Ria.


As of October 2015, there were 7.5 million MTN mobile money subscribers. At least 3.5 million of these were active, according to information on the MTN Uganda website.
The company adds that more than Shs1.8 trillion is transacted monthly on its mobile money platform.
Worldremit will have to contend with Western Union and MoneyGram that already have a presence in the country.
Western Union and MTN Uganda currently offer the same kind of service Worldremit seeks to offer in Uganda.
Worldremit promises “guaranteed exchange rates”, which could appeal to customers. Those to whom money will be sent will be informed of the applicable exchange rate so that there is an agreement with the sender.


By press time, it was not yet known whether MTN mobile money subscribers in Uganda would be able to send money directly to mobile phones abroad.

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