Western Union Introduces Mobile Money Transfer

First of all, I know it’s Friday, which is most people’s favorite day. We could do with some cash to go and celebrate with this coming weekend. Personally, I’ll be traveling to Mumias to watch yet another match (it never gets tiring) so anyone up for a random roadtrip, holla.

Click on the image to enlarge

Western Union has introduced mobile money transfer, where when someone sends you money from abroad, it comes straight to your M-PESA. This means you don’t have to line up at the banks to withdraw your money through the Western Union counter. You can just head to the nearest M-PESA kiosk in your estate and get your cash from there.

The receiver gets a notification on their phone that they have received X amount of money from Y person. The current rates of exchange apply. The receiver is only charged the normal M-PESA transaction service fee when withdrawing, they are not charged to receive.

The sender is however, charged the standard rates. If you are sending money, you can do it online or via a Western Union agent in their area. This service is only available for Safaricom M-PESA customers in Kenya. For the list of other countries where this is available, check out http://www.westernunion.com/mobile

This is good news to many receivers in Kenya, because it means less hassle when withdrawing money sent via Western Union: M-PESA shops are ubiquitous!

P.S.

This means M-PESA opened up their API to Western Union but they refuse to do the same for developers in Kenya citing what, security reasons?

P.P.S.

If you want to try out this service (sending money to M-PESA), you can email me for a coupon to try out your first transaction free of charge!

  • Michael Pedersen

    This has actually officially been there for a while…

    For the sake of experimentation I tried to actually do this 3months back when I was in Denmark. I entered into an official 100% western union branded outlet (not just a shop offering western union services on the side), and asked for this service.. It turned out the staff operating the office had heard nothing about it and could not advice me in any way…

    Following this experience I e-mailed western union’s head-office to get some clarification, they ensured me that this service was infact being offered.

    So it seems that the technical part of it is sorted, but Western Union still has a job to do on actually training their staff on how to operate/use the service.

    P.S. You can’t tell 100% if M-Pesa has opened anything other than what is generally available from this. Western Union MAY just be operating one of the disbursement accounts (MPESA B2C).

    • savvykenya

      I guess they still need to let their staff know how to use the service. Either way, it’s a more convenient way to send money to someone in Kenya.

      P.S. If the money is going straight into someone’s account, permission to access some ‘restricted’ area in order to credit a customer’s account must have been granted.

  • Vivacioushy

    Congs Western Union

    • savvykenya

      Well, convenience for customers should be every company’s aim.