MTN launched a mobile money service between Ivory Coast and Benin, the latest example of such cross-border capability being introduced in Africa.
“The new service will take advantage of the extensive distribution network of MTN Mobile Money in both countries, and reduce the cost of sending and receiving money for our customers,” says Pieter Verkade, MTN Group chief commercial officer.
A large number of Beninese live in Ivory Coast, so presenting a potential market for remittance payments sent via mobile handset.
The move follows the introduction of a similar service in April this year between Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, although that was in partnership with a rival, Bharti Airtel. It was the first cross-border mobile-to-mobile remittance service in West Africa, the partners claimed at the time.
MTN confirmed to Mobile World Live that these are the only cross-border arrangements at present.
As of 30 September 2014, MTN Mobile Money had 22.2 million registered users and was available in 15 countries.
The service enables users to perform local and international money transfers, make utility payments, save money in their interest bearing mobile wallets, purchase airtime and access a range of mobile financial products.
In October, Bharti Airtel also announced several arrangements to send money between countries. It launched a service that enables its money subscribers to send, receive and withdraw cash from their mobile wallets across international borders in East Africa.
A pilot phase was due to start on 1 November involving Airtel in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The second phase will see the service rolled out to other Airtel operating countries within the next year.