LONDON (SHARECAST) - Telecomms giant Vodafone is set to expand the reach of its secure mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa, a service that is widely used by many people in African countries who do not have a bank account.
M-Pesa will next month connect the service to the HomeSend Hub, which is operated by BICS and as an open and neutral intermediary system between participants to allow the flow of electronic mobile money beyond national boundaries, irrespective of the mobile network provider.
This will allow M-Pesa customers to send and receive funds via their mobile phone accounts by connecting directly to more than 21 international money transfer businesses in 35 countries.
M-Pesa was launched by Vodafone in 2007 and is currently available in seven countries including India, Kenya and Tanzania. The service allows customers to send and receive money via their mobile phones.
Vodafone Director of Mobile Money Michael Joseph said: "Prior to M-Pesa, many people in developing markets had no choice but to move cash around in person or by public transport, exposing them to corrupt middlemen and thieves.
"Mobile changes lives. It also transforms societies and economies: a 10% increase in mobile penetration in a country equates to a 1.2% increase in GDP growth.
"We are now at the next stage of that growth. By breaking down national barriers to make mobile money transfer truly global and ubiquitous across all competing networks, just like text messaging today, we can further connect the world's huge unbanked population."
While numerous systems of this type have been established in recent times, M-Pesa is one of the few to have been so successful.