Tigo, Airtel, and Zantel Inter-Operate Mobile Money in Tanzania




Three mobile phone companies in Tanzania namely Tigo, Airtel, and Zantel announced today a pioneering agreement to allow their customers in Tanzania to send money to each other whether using Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money, or EzyPesa on their mobile handsets.

It is expected that the service will start by end of this month. Use of mobile money system to pay bills and transfer money has been widely embraced in most African countries.

This is the first agreement in Africa to adopt such “interoperability” whereby mobile network operators allows their customer to send and receive money across the network and the e-money goes direct to the respective customer e-wallet account.

In the early years of the mobile industry, such agreements were common for both voice calls and sms text messaging. With this agreement customers of the three telecommunications company would be able to send money by mobile to each other directly, according to a statement issued by the companies.

They released a joint press statement which listed other benefits customers of the three companies would enjoy including the ability to send money at more affordable rates and in a simplified way which does not require use of PIN codes when making withdrawals as had been the practice before signing of the agreement.

Diego Gutierrez, Tigo’s General Manager for Tanzania, commented “We are delighted to work with Airtel and Zantel to extend the mobile money universe in Tanzania. With even more transactions possible, our customer’s money is made even more safe and secure with this technology. Just as we co-operate with our competitors on voice calls and text to help our customers, so we hope to be able to do the same with mobile money and help make Tanzania a global pioneer in digital financial inclusion.”

“Airtel is committed to introduce to our customers new innovative services that look beyond competition, a tremendous evolution to ensure mobile inclusion that is sought by many Tanzanians taking into account our reach across the country,” said Sunil Colaso, Airtel’s managing director.

He also added, “today’s partnership will bring our customers closer to mobile service and ease their use of mobile money services.”

“Zantel  has a strong commitment to excellence and innovation, and thus is happy about this partnership which will enable all our customers to conduct their businesses efficiently and with ease across Tanzania,” said Pratap Ghose, Zantel’s managing director. “Zantel is proud to have been the pioneer in launching mobile payments in 2008; and hence will work with the industry  and the regulatory bodies to ensure that we offer ‘best in class’ service to our customers.”

The three companies also paid tribute to the Bank of Tanzania (B.O.T) for facilitating interoperability, the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation and IFC for playing the leading role on this initiative.

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