As of February 2014, remittances to Kenya rose to $110.42 million — an 8 percent increase from the same period last year – according to the Central Bank of Kenya. On 21st June 2014, it was announced that Xpress Money – considered the world’s most dependable money transfer brand – announced its tie-up with Safaricom to offer mobile remittance services from Saudi Arabia to Kenya.
“We at Xpress Money have been looking to provide our customers with increasingly innovative products and services that match their hectic lifestyles,” the VP and business head of Xpress Money, Sudhesh Giriyan, told arabnews. “This partnership with Safaricom is a step in that direction,” he added.
- The money transfer service will be done via Safaricom’s M-PESA platform in Kenya.
- It will further boost the m-wallet concept championed by Safaricom, thus making it easier and more convenient for Xpress Money users in Saudi Arabia to receive money in Kenya.
- Xpress Money is offering the M-PESA service to its customers in Saudi Arabia as part of the company’s phased roll out of mobile remittance channels across various countries.
- Apart from Saudi Arabia, countries to go live in the first phase include the UAE, Qatar and the UK, aside from Saudi Arabia, according to arabnews.
- The subsequent phases will have the service going live from other countries under the Xpress Money network and will be settled by the end of 2014.
- This partnership between M-PESA and Xpress Money comes at a time when the impact of remittances to Kenya’s economic and social development is being felt more than ever before.
- Over 2.5 million Kenyans live and work abroad, sending money home on a regular basis.
Mr. Giriyan Added: “Mobile money transfers are the future of the remittance business, and Kenya being a key focus market for us it made sense for us to introduce this service.”