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Vodafone launches M-Pesa mobile money between Tanzania – Kenya

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Vodafone has launched the mobile money transfer and payment service M-Pesa for transactions between Tanzania and Kenya, claiming it will offer a low cost means of remittance for the two countries’ inhabitants.

According to the operator, M-Pesa is safe and secure, and uses an established network of 180,000 agents. It also claimed the service offers significant savings, with traditional service providers such as banks charging up to 31% of a transaction’s value. Vodafone said a $50 M-Pesa transfer will cost around 1% plus a foreign exchange fee.

“With a substantial unbanked population transacting mainly in cash, the Tanzania-Kenya corridor represents a significant opportunity for M-Pesa to give people and companies an accessible, low-cost alternative to traditional international remittances,” said Michael Joseph, Vodafone Director of Mobile Money.

Mobile money services are growing fast in African markets where large numbers of people don’t have traditional bank accounts but are increasingly using mobile phones to conduct their daily lives, including trade. These services are proving an important part of African operators’ strategies as they can increase customer loyalty. Subscribers are less likely to churn once they are using a money service as well as traditional mobile functionalities.

Meanwhile in the UK, Vodafone has announced it is mobilising the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS, or Met) by providing iPad minis, 4G connectivity and source data management. Apparently this trial, initially involving 500 officers, is part of the MPS’s wider aim to transform its frontline services through technology.

The idea is to equip officers with more tech kit to allow more time on the streets and less time schlepping back to the office to do paperwork. Frontline workers will be able to access the police force’s own bespoke apps via Vodafone’s 4G connection to securely update systems and databases on the go.

“There is a huge opportunity for technology to transform policing, and this trial with Vodafone UK is a fantastic example of the Met making the best use of technology to deliver services to the public in new and innovative ways,” said Superintendent Adrian Hutchinson, Head of Mobility Planning for the MSP.

“We want officers out on the beat, not stuck in the station filling out paperwork or sat at a computer. Working with Vodafone UK to deliver phase one of the project, we’ve already had a great response from officers who have used the devices, and we are confident that the project will help them to be more visible to the public and ultimately deliver a better service to Londoners,” Superintendent Hutchinson continued.

Phil Mottram, Enterprise Director from Vodafone UK said: “It is fantastic to see the Met embracing the latest mobile technologies to their full potential. We know that technology can make a huge difference to frontline workers and ultimately to the vital service they deliver to citizens. By partnering with organisations such as the MPS we can support them to identify the right technologies that will really make a difference in delivering greater efficiency while improving frontline policing.”

Telecoms.com’s news coverage is sponsored by NEC.

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