The popularity Mpesa has enjoyed over years since its inception is enormous, traditional money transfer services like Western Union share has shrank to staggeringly low within Kenya for the same reason. I remember in the days of yore when only post bank offered a close match through its diminishing money gram product. However; globally, other services still command a huge customer base and in some cases, there isn’t any comparable mobile wallet in operation. For this reason, it has proved ambiguous for users elsewhere to send money to Mpesa mobile wallet users in Kenya at least until recently when the tides begun to change through various partnerships.
To start with, I always thought western union partnership with Safaricom’s Mpesa was imminent, and indeed here we are. Both have their strengths and weaknesses; I’d imagine in some states, Mpesa has no bearing at all but Western Union is almost everywhere. Figures released recently indicate even though Mpesa is only popular and probably operational here in Kenya alone, but the number of daily transactions have since surpassed those of Western Union globally.
From the new partnership, Mpesa users will access more than 500,000 Western Union agents globally, making it easier send money abroad from the Mpesa wallet. And in some instances users will be allowed to make direct bank deposits i.e. in the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Germany. Of course we expect more countries to be added along the way.
How to Send or Receive Money Through Mpesa and Western Union Worldwide
- Users first need to have an active Mpesa account of course
- Accept the terms by Dialing *840#
- Select “send money abroad” and follow the usual Mpesa menu prompts i.e. PIN e.t.c
- If you’re lucky to have a smartphone, the service can be accessed by installing the “MySafaricom” app, Select M-PESA> Select M-PESA Global>Accept terms and conditions to Opt in > Select Send
Transaction costs for sending money from Mpesa to western Union
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