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Tigo conducts world’s maiden cross-border mobile money transfer

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In a successful event that will forever be the benchmark for cross border mobile money services, Tigo, an innovative mobile services provider on Feb 24th conducted the first ever money transfer from one country to another involving different currencies using mobile financial services.

Transacting between a mobile wallet to and from Tanzania’s Tigo Pesa and Tigo Cash in Rwanda was done in a series of actions that did not last for more than five minutes.

Initially, Tigo Rwanda’s General Manager Tongai Maramba sent Rwf1000 to his counterpart in Tanzania directly from a Tigo cash account into the Tigo Pesa wallet with the later receiving about Tsh2100.

This was followed by a similar transaction initiated in Tanzania where Tsh200 was sent from a Tigo Pesa wallet to Tigo cash with the transaction completing in less than two minutes.

The development presents one of the most swift and easiest ways of transferring money in the East African region never experienced, where at no cost a Tigo cash subscriber in Rwanda can send or receive money to and from Tanzania instantly.

Money is received in the local currency of the particular country implying that the system is built in such a manner that it exchanges the currencies to and from Tanzania Shillings (Tsh) and Rwanda Francs (Rwf) respectively.
With the money exchanging service, the system does not only offer a relief from the worries of seeking exchange bureaus whenever someone travels to one of the East African member states but also eases the trouble of having to carry bulk cash across the borders. All these are bound to facilitate business especially cross border trade between Rwanda and Tanzania.

H.E Francis A. Mwaipaja says that besides being the Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to Rwanda, he is a citizen of the region who requires to communicate with his family and people back in his home village, including financial communication.

He however confided that sending money across border is not only a tedious but also a costly undertaking which most definitely burdens many citizens in the region.

“Most of the existing money transfer services are costly and the procedures are intimidating even to the learned, not to mention the modest citizens of the region. Having innovations that simplify the financial connectivity in the region is a great step towards facilitating trade and eradicating poverty within the population,” the ambassador spoke to Hope Magazine on the sidelines of the event where the first ever cross border mobile money transaction was conducted in Kigali.

A similar event was unfolding in Tanzania at the same time.
While launching the new service, Mr. Maramba clarified that it is built with the most recent technology ensuring a secure platform and positioning it as the best money transfer choice between Rwanda and Tanzania.
Cross border Tigo cash transactions come as a complement numerous innovations that the mobile service company has spearheaded in the Rwandan market including the Tigomatic machines.

Tigamatic enable Tigo customers to serve themselves 24 hours every day without having to seek the services of agents.

Transferring money across the borders of the two countries will be governed by the regulations set by regulators of either side, including the existing limits of the transaction bulk that can be moved on the mobile money platforms in a single day.

For Tigo cash, the maximum that a subscriber can move in a day on the platform according to the National Bank of Rwanda is Rwf500, 000.
Now that the East African Community enjoys free movement of goods and labor, citizens of the various countries work far from home thus a strong need to ease the movement of money.

According to Maramba it is towards the above demand from the consumer community that Tigo’s cross border mobile money innovation is geared.
To use the service, a Tigo customer subscribed for Tigo Cash dials *200*7# and then follows the generated instructions. In less than one minute, a customer will be able to send their money.

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