In June 2014, Airtel Tanzania announced an agreement with Tigo to enable the two operators’ customers in Tanzania to send money to each other via their mobile handsets, whether using Airtel Money, Tigo Pesa or EzyPesa. On Aug. 22, 2014, the companies followed through with the introduction of a cross-network money-transfer platform in Tanzania.
“This partnership with Tigo is a world first service allowing customers to transact directly to their e-wallet or respective recipient’s e-wallet,” said Sunil Colaso, Airtel Tanzania’s managing director, in a press release. “With off-net charges removed, it means lower cost and less hassle in withdrawing cash, therefore making the service more relevant to our customers’ needs. In addition, our Airtel Money Agents will be able to seamlessly assist our customers with ‘cash in and out’ transactions with ease without retrieving payment confirmation messages from customers’ mobile phones. We believe the interoperability service will enhance security for agents and customers across the country.”
- Interoperability describes the extent to which systems and devices can exchange data and interpret that shared data.
- For two systems to be interoperable, they must be able to exchange data and present that data in such a manner as to be understood by a user.
- The new service will enable users of Airtel and Tigo to experience a secure and seamless money-transfer service between the companies’ mobile money wallets, Airtel said.
- In late 2013, Tanzania launched a national financial-inclusion framework to focus on priorities such as payment platforms, infrastructure and consumer protection.
- According to the Bank of Tanzania, the introduction of the cross-network money-transfer service is poised to boost financial inclusion in Tanzania. In 2013, only 22% of people in the country had access to financial services.
“We are happy with the service that Airtel has introduced,” said Pasco Woiso, an Airtel Money agent, in a release. “I have used it for the first time today and I am already pleased with my customers’ response. This is a fantastic service that eliminates our customers’ complaints while reducing the time spent on a single customer.”