Mobile money transfer service allows for cross-border transactions in Uganda

A new money transfer service launching in Uganda will allow subscribers of one of the country’s leading operators to send and receive money across borders using just their mobile phones. The pioneering service is being offered by MTN in partnership with Western Union, and will allow over 2 million of MTN’s customers in Uganda to add funds to their accounts.

Funds are sent either in person at Western Union agent location, via the internet or directly from a bank account, with the receiver simply selecting to “pull” the transaction into an MTN Mobile Money account. The service also enables MTN customers to send money internationally with Western Union directly from their Mobile Money accounts for cash payout at agent locations worldwide, or to subscribers of select mobile phone companies.

The two firms will also provide 9,000 branded mobile “Yellow Phones” to Ugandans. Customers who receive these phones must already have an active MTN Mobile Money account or sign up for one in order to use the new remittance service. The phones will be given away via ongoing promotions throughout Uganda over the next few months.

“Our mobile money transfer service will unlock new economic opportunities for thousands of underserved consumers in Uganda, whose financial needs are not being met elsewhere,” said Diane Scott, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and President, Western Union Ventures. “By deploying these powerful tools for sending and receiving funds – particularly in areas lacking financial infrastructure – Western Union and MTN are helping to create more self-sufficient local economies.”

Christian de Faria, MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We currently have more than 2 million Mobile Money customers, and we continue to grow exponentially. By joining forces with Western Union, our customers can now receive funds directly in their MTN Mobile Money accounts quickly and easily.”

MTN has deployed its Mobile Money service in 12 markets, including Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Rwanda. Following the launch of the Mobile Money transfer in Uganda, MTN and Western Union plan to introduce the service in other countries where Mobile Money is offered, and where regulation permits international remittance.

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