M-PESA partners with Onafriq for international remittances to Ethiopia

Safaricom has today announced an International Money Transfer Agreement with Onafriq, Africa’s digital payments network to help streamline remittance flows to Ethiopia.

Through the agreement, individuals within Ethiopia will be able to receive remittances from different parts of the world through Safaricom’s mobile money platform M-PESA. This is based on the authorisation received from the National Bank of Ethiopia for the two partners to start the remittance service in July 2023.  

The incorporation of International Money Transfer capability into its offering allows M-PESA to tap into and leverage Onafriq’s extensive network, connecting 500 million mobile money wallets and 200 million bank accounts. This vast reach enables domestic and cross-border disbursements and collections, card issuing and processing, agency banking, and treasury services.

“Our goal is to make payments easier, and the incorporation of International Money Transfer services into M-PESA serves that purpose perfectly. Ethiopia generates more than five billion USD in remittances annually and this partnership will provide the Ethiopian Diaspora with an easy and fast formal channel to send money to their loved ones in Ethiopia.” Paul Kavavu, General Manager at Safaricom Ethiopia, said.

Nika Naghavi, Group Head of Growth at Onafriq, added that the partnership will directly stimulate the realisation of Ethiopia’s digital transformation strategy. The strategy termed ‘Digital Ethiopia 2025’, places emphasis on enabling systems through digital transformation, of which digital payments form a crucial part. The country’s solution to this includes ensuring financial inclusion, innovation in the banking system and the adoption of innovative solutions.

“We have always believed that payments should be a simple process, as simple as a phone call – connecting individuals through increased access. The agreement with M-PESA Safaricom extends our reach in Africa even further and strengthens our position as the largest payment network on the continent. We are confident that this partnership will positively impact economic growth and the achievement of greater sustainable development goals,” said Naghavi.

The service complements Ethiopia’s efforts to generate foreign currency inflow through formal channels, offering a safe, inclusive and reliable service to customers through M-PESA. 

M‑PESA provides individuals with quick and easy financial services through a mobile phone. Users do not need a bank account, just a Safaricom sim card. 

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