Millicom announced that Tigo Pesa, its mobile financial service in Tanzania, is working with WorldRemit, the mobile remittance firm, so friends and families living abroad can send money directly to users back home through their smartphones, tablets and computers.
Tigo’s head of mobile financial services, Ruan Swanepoel, said the mobile money service is now the most common method for receiving remittances in Tanzania for WorldRemit customers, having overtaken cash pick-ups, airtime top up and transfers to bank accounts.
The Tanzanian diaspora numbers about 250,000, according to the latest World Bank data, with the UK, US and Canada having the highest numbers of Tanzanians living outside of Africa.
According to World Bank data, Tanzania is an important so-called receive market for remittances. In 2014 the country received a total of US$64 million from Tanzanians living abroad. The top sender countries were Kenya, UK, Uganda, Canada, US, Australia and South Africa.
WorldRemit, which is looking to expand its relationship with operators, saw transfers to mobile money services in Africa grow by more than 200 per cent over the past year. It now represents 30 per cent of all WorldRemit’s transfers originating in Europe and the US.
For its part, this is the second international money transfer service to be launched by Tigo Pesa following last year’s debut between Tanzania and Rwanda. The operator claimed at the time this was the world’s first such service to support automatic currency conversion when a subscriber makes a mobile money transfer between two countries.