Interoperability Initiatives Taken by Mobile Money Systems

Introducing Mobile Money in the regions where there is poorer access to banks (or weak banking system) is a near perfect solution to address the needs of people - safety, security, micro-transactions and so on. With m-pesa, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is widely seen as a pioneering market for mobile money. The service has since crossed borders and allowed providers to enable money transfer services with each other conveniently. These initiatives are called Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) initiatives.

The Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) offers tremendous opportunity. It allows two systems working in isolation to talk to each other and offer to its subscribers a way to freely transact across the systems. Interoperability was implemented in Indonesia in 2013 and the trend was followed by operators in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tanzania to allow their customers to send money directly to mobile wallets on other networks. Some Mobile Money Interoperability Partnerships are:

MMI partnerships in Africa:

Vodafone M-PAiSA & MTN Mobile Money

East Africa’s two biggest mobile money operators, Vodafone M-PAiSA and MTN Mobile Money have joined forces to interconnect their mobile money services allowing the customers of both the companies to transfer money conveniently.

MTN Rwanda & Safaricom

MTN Rwanda & Safaricom have announced a partnership which will allow MTN users in Rwanda transfer to cash to Kenya or Tanzania through Safaricom and Tanzania’s Vodacom M-Pesa platform. MTN Group has also signed a collaboration agreement that will allow MTN mobile money users in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia to make international remittances with M-Pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania, the DR Congo, Mozambique, and vice versa.

Vodacom & Tigo in Tanzania

Millicom’s Tigo customers will be able to exchange money with six million M-Pesa customers in Tanzania later this year. Tigo has over 6.2 million customers in Tanzania overall and 3.4 million users of its Tigo Pesa mobile money service.

Dompetku, T-Cash & Tunai In Indonesia

In May 2013, Indonesia’s top three mobile operators announced that they’d made their mobile wallet services interoperable, so customers of Indosat’s Dompetku, Telkomsel’s T-Cash, and XL Tunai can all send money to each other for a small fee.

Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Bank in Pakistan:

Telenor Pakistan’s Easypaisa service transacts the majority of its volume over-the-counter or through mobile-enabled agents rather than a customer wallet.