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Ismail Ahmed, Founder and CEO of WorldRemit  to Speak at Financial Times Africa Payments Innovation Summit, Nairobi, Kenya

Ismail Ahmed, Founder and CEO of WorldRemit to Speak at Financial Times Africa Payments Innovation Summit, Nairobi, Kenya

FT

Ismail Ahmed, Founder and CEO WorldRemit to speak at the Summit slated for Nairobi on 29 March 2017.

The Summit brings together key players from across the mobile payment industry to debate the challenges and the opportunities of providing greater financial access to bottom of the pyramid (BOTP) consumers.

Participants will explore the role of payments innovation in meeting the continent’s development targets, the trends and policies affecting market uptake, the impact of new technologies, and the strategies to enhance growth, interoperability and security opportunities.

FT summit

FT summit

What is WorldRemit?

WorldRemit is available 24/7 so you don’t have to worry about your money transfer agent being closed, or out to lunch. We never close… or eat lunch.*

A few taps on the WorldRemit app or clicks on the website and your money is sent.

And we offer the widest range of ways for people to receive their money on the other end.

You can choose from cash pickup, bank deposit, send to a Mobile Money account or a mobile airtime top-up.

As M-PESA celebrates its 10th anniversary, Ismail will be in Kenya next week to address the Financial Times Africa Payments Innovation Summit.

Diaspora Remittances

Remittances from the diaspora are recognised as a critical component in the growth of the Kenyan economy – reaching a record value of just under $161 m in November 2016, according to the Central Bank of Kenya.

Key points about Diaspora Remittances

  • Kenyans abroad are the biggest senders of mobile remittances to the entire African continent. They overtook Zimbabweans this year to be the biggest users of the WorldRemit mobile app, more than any other diaspora group from Africa
  • 10 years after M-Pesa launched, today 93% of WorldRemit’s money transfers to Kenya go to Mobile Money accounts
  • In 2017 alone WorldRemit will send over USD $120m to M-Pesa, way ahead of legacy competitors Western Union and MoneyGram
  • To date WorldRemit has completed more than 1.3 million transactions to Kenya, more than 90% of which has gone to Mobile Money
  • WorldRemit is now available in 50 send countries and over 140 receive countries. We’re currently doing about 580k transactions per month globally and 65k per month in Kenya
  • WorldRemit is now connected to 112 million Mobile Money accounts – over a fifth of the 500 million globally – and facilitates 74% of all international remittances to Mobile Money accounts that originate from money transfer operators, according to the GSMA
  • Revenue has grown to £41 in 2016, up from £27m in 2015
  • For case studies of WorldRemit users in Nairobi, see here

Summit Overview

Africa’s regional payment systems are undergoing a period of significant progress. At the crest of this wave are the East and West African mobile payment systems markets. Although these are already booming, with some mobile payment schemes widely regarded as models of success, there remains a significant need for improvement in the twin areas of interoperability and security.

Mergers and partnerships taking place between telcos and banks are generating fierce competition in the market. All this is creating major opportunities for multiple stakeholders, as well as the telecoms firms and banks themselves. On the one hand, international technology providers and major regional banks looking to enter African markets are seeking local partners which can give them unique insights. On the other, national providers are looking to meet with local, regional and international partners which can increase their market share in the continent.

Source: FT, WorldRemit

Mpesa celebrates 10 years of success

As Vodafone marks the 10th anniversary of M-Pesa, the world’s leading mobile money service, it was revealed that a record 614 million M-Pesa transactions were processed during December 2016.

Vodafone now offers M-Pesa services in 10 countries: Albania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Romania and Tanzania.

As of the end of December 2016, M-Pesa served almost 29.5 million active customers through a network of more than 287,400 agents.

M-Pesa was launched by Vodafone’s Kenyan associate, Safaricom, on 6 March 2007. The service is designed to enable customers safely and securely to send, receive and store money via a basic mobile phone and, more recently in some markets, using a smartphone app.

M-Pesa also reduces significantly the potential risks of street robbery, burglary and petty corruption within cash-based economies where only a small proportion of the population benefit from access to conventional financial services.

How Mpesa Works

M-Pesa is the world’s most successful money transfer service. It enables millions of people who have access to a mobile phone, but do not have or have only limited access to a bank account, to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments and much more.

Customers register for the service at an authorised agent, often this is a small mobile phone store or retailer, and then deposit cash in exchange for electronic money which they can send to their family or friends. Once they have registered all transactions are completed securely by entering a PIN number and both parties receive an SMS confirming the amount that has been transferred. The recipient, who does not have to use the same network, receives the electronic money in real-time and then redeems it for cash by visiting another agent.

M-Pesa is helping businesses to be more efficient. Businesses can pay for business transactions directly using M-Pesa, for example a wholesaler can distribute goods via a lorry and receive payments via M-Pesa from the retailers. Additionally, business can, receive payments from customers via the paybill facility and can also pay employees directly into their M-Pesa accounts.

M-Pesa is helping businesses to be more efficient. Businesses can pay for business transactions directly using M-Pesa, for example a wholesaler can distribute goods via a lorry and receive payments via M-Pesa from the retailers. Additionally, business can, receive payments from customers via the paybill facility and can also pay employees directly into their M-Pesa accounts.

Innovative uses

In addition to the millions of person-to-person (P2P) and customer-to-business (C2B) transactions, M-Pesa has made a big difference to people’s lives in other ways.

In Tanzania for example, where the cost of travel prevents many people from getting the medical care they need, one non-governmental organisation (NGO), Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT), has used M-Pesa to send patients the money to pay for their travel to its hospital.

In Kenya, Water Company customers use M-Pesa to buy credits which are transferred from their phone to their key fob which is then used to pay for fresh, clean water when they need it.

FAQs about Mpesa
Is M-Pesa regulated?

M-Pesa is regulated by the financial services regulator (usually the Central Bank) of each country in which it is offered. Each transaction made with M-Pesa is electronic and can therefore be monitored by Vodafone, which runs its own bank-grade anti-money laundering system.

What happens if a customer loses their phone or SIM?

If a customer loses his/her phone or SIM card, the funds in his/her M-Pesa account remain secure, and cannot be accessed without the secret PIN code. M-Pesa will restore these funds after providing a new SIM card and resetting the mobile phone account.

Who are the M-Pesa agents?

Who are the M-Pesa agents and are they safe to use?

M-Pesa agents are recruited by Vodafone after a thorough selection and due diligence process. They are regularly monitored and re-trained, and Vodafone representatives visit them frequently.

Does the agent hold the money deposited by customers and is my money safe with them?

M-Pesa agents pre-buy mobile money so that they can sell it to customers in exchange for cash (so the customer can “cash-in”); they also do the reverse, selling cash in exchange for mobile money (so the customer can “cash out”). The cash and M-Pesa balances that agents manage and store are always their own.

What can customers do with their mobile money accounts?

M-Pesa customers can access a wide range of services, 24h a day, 365 days a year. These services save time and money and are delivered in real time. For example an M-Pesa customer can undertake some or all of the following transactions, depending on the country in which they are registered

Send money to another M-Pesa customer

Pay bills (e.g. telephone, electricity, water, TV…)

Top up airtime

Pay for goods with merchants and other providers

Withdraw money at an ATM

Receive money from abroad

Receive or pay salaries safely

How much does M-Pesa cost?

Tariffs vary per country but all use a pay-as you go model, ensuring that customers are only charged for the actions that they complete. There is no additional charge for any of the SMSs automatically sent or received to facilitate M-Pesa services.. The tariffs can be found on each M-Pesa country’s website.

How do customers add mobile money to their phone account?

They need to be a Vodafone customer in one of Vodafone’s M-Pesa markets

Second, they need to open an account with an M-Pesa agent as an M-Pesa customer. After providing ID and completing any other registration requirements that may apply in their country (e.g. proof of address), they create a 4-digit PIN that must be kept safe at all times.

They are then ready to convert cash into digital money with the help of an M-Pesa agent, who will send part of his/her own mobile money to their phone account in exchange for the amount of cash provided.

What is M-Pesa?

M-Pesa means “m-money” in Swahili and is the global brand for Vodafone’s Mobile Money service. The service was launched in 2007 in Kenya, 2008 in Tanzania and is now present in 10 countries.

What is mobile money?

Mobile money is a digital representation of cash which Vodafone stores safely in a ring-fenced bank account (a “trust” account). The mobile money account of each customer is linked to their mobile phone account. The central platform securely keeps tracks of the value in case a phone or SIM card is lost.

Do customers need a bank account to use M-Pesa?

No, M-Pesa is specifically designed to benefit customers who have no access to banks – either because they do not have a bank account or because they live too far away from a bank branch. Each transaction is made with a mobile handset, enabling our customers to send money from any location.

What are the benefits of M-Pesa?

M-Pesa offers a safe, fast and low-cost way to pay, receive, transfer and store money. M-Pesa, works in real time and digitally, making it faster and cheaper than traditional informal money transfer services (e.g. sending money on a bus) and safer since every transaction is protected and signed with a PIN.

 

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