List of M-pesa Countries in Africa and How to Send Money

Hey there! Welcome to M-pesa guides. In this article, we’ll walk you through M-pesa, how it works, countries it’s currently operating in, how to send and receive M-pesa”s IMT in those countries and many more. Hence, let’s dive into the primary reasons of this article without no Foda Ado. You can join our WhatsApp to get latest finance updates.

What is M-Pesa?

Do you know mobile money wallets; the ones that allows you to transfer/send, receive and store money via your mobile phone? That’s exactly what M-pesa is. Like Airtel Money, MTN MoMo and Eversend, M-pesa allows users to carryout microfinance banking using their mobile phones.

Like Kuda Bank in Nigeria, M-pesa is a mobile-only fintech app that offers money transfer services, payments and micro-financing services such as Loans, IMTs, and more. M-pesa was established in 2007 by Vodafone and Safaricom – the biggest telecommunication company in Kenya.

Since M-pesa inception in Kenya, it’s expanded to other African countries including Tanzania, Mozambique, DR Congo, Lesotho, Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and Ethiopia. Additionally, M-pesa is also currently operating in Afghanistan.

How does M-pesa Works?

M-pesa works by offering you an affordable and seamless way to money’s transfer, payment of goods and services, loans and credits, global payment (also known as International Money Transfer, IMT) and other payment services.

With more than 51Millions active users, M-pesa is working across seven countries in Africa with a safe, fast, secure, seamless and affordable way to send and receive money. However, to use M-pesa, you have to open an account at an authorized agent in your country.

M-pesa agents are usually founds at a small mobile money kiosk along the street, a barber’s shop, or a provision store that accept M-pesa. All that’s needed from you is walk in and register an account to start using M-pesa to send money to your family and friends with the country and globally.

List of M-Pesa Countries

Here is the list of countries where M-Pesa is currently operating in:

1. Kenya

Kenya is the major M-Pesa country since its inception in 2007. Kenya as the hub of the company, M-Pesa retains the largest mobile money app in the country. Additionally. the company was recognized as the Africa’s largest payment FinTech (banking and financial services) app in 2021.

2. Egypt

M-Pesa was first announced in Egypt and Romania in 2013. However, the Romania branch didn’t launch till date, and in 2021, Vodacom bought 55 percent of  Vodafone Egypt to oversees M-Pesa in Egypt.

3. Uganda

Although, M-Pesa physical location is not currently available in Uganda. But due to partnership between Safaricom and MTN Uganda since 2015, you can carryout mobile money transfer from Uganda to Kenya and vice-versa, making it currently operating in the country.

4. Ghana

In 2015, Vodafone launched M-Pesa under Vodafone Cash in Ghana. In 2016, the mobile money service recorded active users of about 280,000. At this time, the managing company – Vodafone paid out $116,000 of interest to M-Pesa users according to local bank provider guidelines.

5. DR Congo

M-Pesa is one the largest mobile money services in DR Congo. It was launched in 2011 Vodacom under its subsidiary – Vodacash. However, the M-Pesa App was rolled out in DRC in 2021 with multi-currency support and French language.

6. Mozambique

M-Pesa was launched in Mozambique in May 2013 by Vodacom. In 2021, M-Pesa Mozambique rolled out M-pesa App. The app allows Mozambicans to carry out money transfer to family and friends, and make payments to merchants and businesses, just like PayPal.

7. Tanzania

Vodacom launched M-Pesa Tanzania in 2008. In 2021, the fintech firm announced the launch of direct bank transfers (DBT) using the M-pesa app in the country. This means the users in Tanzania will be able to make direct bank transfer to another mobile money users in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

8. Lesotho

M-Pesa was launched in Lesotho in July 2013 by Vodacom. In 2021, Vodacom decided that M-Pesa started operating under the license of VCL Financial Services in Lesotho, a subsidiary and fintech company of the telecommunication giant.

9. Afghanistan

M-Pesa was launched in Afghanistan in 2008 with the partnership between Roshan (a mobile operator in Afghanistan) and Vodafone. When M-Peas was initially launched in the country, it was used to pay policeman’s salaries to set competitive margin with what the Taliban were earning.

10. South Africa

Vodacom partnered with Nedbank to launched M-Pesa in South Africa in September, 2010. M-Pesa was launched in the countries for the purpose of bridging the gap between 13 millions people without a bank and financial services.

11. Ethiopia

M-Pesa was launched in Ethiopia this year – August 17, 2023 by Safaricom. The CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia – Stanley Njoroge said the telecommunication company is happy to start offering financial services to it customer in Ethiopia through M-Pesa.

M-Pesa Countries, Managers and Launched Dates

M-Pesa Countries Managing Companies Launched Date
Kenya Safaricom 2007
Tanzania Vodacom 2008
Lesotho Vodacom 2013
Uganda Safaricom 2015
Afghanistan Vodafone 2008
Egypt Vodacom 2013
Mozambique Vodacom 2013
DR Congo Vodacom 2013
Ghana Vodafone 2015
Ethiopia Safaricom 2023
South Africa Vodacom 2010

How to Send Money from Tanzania to Kenya using M-Pesa

There two (2) ways to send money from Tanzania to Kenya: via Airtel Money and M-Pesa. You can send money from Airtel Money in Tanzania to M-Pesa in Kenya and you can send money from Kenya to Tanzania using M-pesa. Here’s how:

M-Pesa to Airtel Money

If you have Airtel Money in Tanzania, simply login to your account and tap on “Send”, select “M-Pesa” as your recipient’s bank. Enter your recipient’s M-pesa number, input amount, transaction PIN and tap on “PAY”.

Alternatively, you can send money to Kenya by visiting any Airtel Money Agents near you, deposit cash and tell the agent to send the money to M-pesa in Kenya. You will have to give the agent your recipient M-pesa number and when the transfer is done, collect your receipt for future references.

M-pesa to M-pesa

Additionally, you can send money from Kenya to Tanzania or from Tanzania to Kenya through M-Pesa direct bank transfer that allows you to send money another M-Pesa users regardless of their countries. To do that, login to your M-pesa account via app or web, tap on “PAY”, input recipient’s “M-Pesa Number” (note, with a country code if you’re sending to Tanzania) or “UserTag”, input “Amount” and tap “Send”.

How to Send Money from Ethiopia to Kenya via M-Pesa

Although M-Pesa is available in Ethiopia, which means you can make direct deposit to another M-Pesa users regardless of their residential countries. However, you can also send money from East Africa countries to Kenya using M-Pesa through International Money Transfer (IMT) agents. Safaricom has partnered with the world most-used IMT agents that allow this to be possible.

Safaricom IMT agents includes WorldRemit, Transferwise, Xpress Money, MoneyGram, Mapex, Western Union, SkyForex, mHints, Western Union, Skrill IT, and PsotFinance. So, anywhere these partners are in Ethiopia, you can simply walk up to them and deposit cash to send to M-Pesa in Kenya. Learn more about how M-Pesa International Money Transfer (IMT) works.

How to Send Money from M-Pesa in Kenya to MTN Uganda

In 2015, Safaricom partnered with MTN Uganda to make M-Pesa payment seamless to the potential customers in Uganda. Since then, M-pesa has been actively doing well in the country. However, sending money from Uganda to Kenya and vice versa is done using M-Pesa and MTN Uganda Mobile Money Service.

To do that, transfer money from your MTN mobile money account to M-Pesa number in Kenya. You can also do the same in Kenya to Uganda.

Conclusion

M-Pesa’s impact on Africa is profound, empowering individuals, transforming communities, and driving economic growth. Its success lies in its ability to address the financial needs of the African populace in a simple, accessible, and secure manner. As M-Pesa continues to evolve, it promises to play an even greater role in shaping Africa’s financial future, empowering people and transforming lives.

Lastly, M-Pesa has widespread adoption and expansion across eleven countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Afghanistan, Lesotho, DRC, Ghana, Mozambique, Egypt, and Ethiopia, underscore its transformative impact on financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

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