Finding ways to send and receive money from loved ones and friends has always been a major part of everyone’s lives, and over a long period of time people around the globe have been looking for affordable and secure means to do so in a matter of seconds. In comes the M-Pesa revolution, and suddenly sending and receiving money has never been easier.
Essentially, M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer service that allows clients and customers to deposit money into an account stored on their cell phones, send balances using PIN-secured text messages to other users, including sellers of goods and services, and to redeem deposits for regular money. Basically, M-Pesa allows one to send and receive money, within a matter of seconds, using a mobile phone in Kenya. This service was launched in 2007 by Vodaphone for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania, and has spread quickly to become the most successful mobile-phone-based financial service in the developing world.
But the revolution has not stopped there. One can now send money to Kenya via M-Pesa from Canada, USA, UK, Europe, and UAE, and Kenyans will receive the money in a matter of seconds. Moreover, it does not cost the recipient a thing when you send them money via M-Pesa. This mobile-enabled money transfer service is possible through the partnership of Safaricom with a number of money transfer services such as KenyaPesa, MoneyGram, Western Union, and Xpress Money, among others.
Safaricom’s innovative M-Pesa International Money Transfer (IMT) service enables customers from across the globe, through partners such as MoneyGram, to send money to their friends and loved ones in Kenya within a matter of seconds, and with a network of more than 80,000 M-PESA agent locations across Kenya, one can virtually cash out these international transfers at the M-PESA agent next door.
So, what exactly is needed for the transaction to occur and how does it work? All the recipient needs in order to access the money sent via M-Pesa to Kenya is a mobile phone, and a Safaricom number that is registered with M-Pesa. The sender however does not need to be a registered M-Pesa user. Senders simply have to identify themselves to the agent and provide the recipient's name, Kenyan mobile number and the amount being sent. Exchange rate conversion to Kenya Shillings is done at the prevailing rate and the money is sent. Recipients are then sent a text message within seconds, and can then collect the money from over 80,000 agents around the country or use it to pay bills, purchase airtime or send money on to other phones within the country.
Over time the M-Pesa IMT service has proven extremely successful and although alternative methods of sending money still work perfectly, M-Pesa remains the ultimate choice for most simply because it is very timely and reliable. If, however the recipients of the money being sent to M-Pesa from abroad is not a registered M-Pesa user, they receive and SMS confirmation of the received funds and are asked to register within 21 days to be able to access the funds. Additionally, and for any assistance on the use of M-Pesa services, one can always call the toll-free number 100 or 0722002100.
All in all, sending money to Kenya via M-Pesa remains one of the greatest innovations in the money transfer business, and it’s just a matter of time before we can witness another revolution allowing mobile phone users to send money abroad via M-Pesa from Kenya.