Airtel ties up with Tigo, Zantel for mobile money transfer

Bharti Airtel today said it has tied up with African telecom operators Tigo and Zantel for providing customers in Tanzania mobile money transfer service across networks.

The service is expected to begin this month, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

With this agreement, customers of the three firms will be able to send money by mobile to each other by either using Airtel Money, Tigo Pesa or EzyPesa.

"This is the first agreement in Africa to adopt such interoperability whereby mobile network operators allow their customers to send and receive money across their networks and the e-money goes directly to the respective customer's e-wallet account," Airtel said.

"This is a tremendous evolution towards ensuring the mobile commerce inclusion sought by many Tanzanians, especially taking into account Airtel's broad reach across the country," Airtel Tanzania Managing Director Sunil Colaso said.

Airtel said in the early years of mobile industry, such agreements were common for both voice calls and SMS text messaging.

"Just as we co-operate with our competitors on voice calls and text to help our customers, so we hope to be able to do the same with mobile money and help make Tanzania a global pioneer in digital financial inclusion," Tigo General Manager for Tanzania Diego Gutierrez said.

Zantel Managing Director Pratap Ghose also said the company will work with the industry and the regulatory bodies to ensure that they offer 'best in class' service to its customers.

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