Vodafone has boosted its m-payments platform M-Pesa after signing a deal with global money transfer and payment services firm MoneyGram.
Consumers in 200 countries will now be able to transfer funds to users of M-Pesa by visiting a MoneyGram agent, the MoneyGram website or transferring money via a mobile app available on devices running Android, iOS and Windows 8.
M-Pesa currently has 165,000 authorised agents worldwide, but this deal adds a further 334,000.
M-Pesa, which was launched in 2007 and has nearly 16 million users, is operated by Kenyan operator Safaricom in which Vodafone has a 40 percent stake.
It enables customers to pay bills and withdraw, transfer and deposit money via their handsets. It is currently available in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Fiji, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.
Vodafone said the service will launch in additional markets this year.
“There is huge demand for sending funds back to family and friends in your home market and an estimated €66 billion per year is transferred to M-Pesa markets from around the globe,” commented Michael Joseph, Vodafone Director of M-Pesa.
“Our partnership with MoneyGram provides the most extensive global network and greatest number of access points for consumers wishing to transfer funds to M-Pesa users.”
Last week, Vodafone joined forces with rival operators in the UK to sign a deal with Mastercard in a bid to accelerate the development of m-payment system in the country.