Airtel, Tigo and Zantel have announced Africa’s first mobile money interoperability whereby mobile network operators allow their customers to send and receive money across the network. This is through a pioneering agreement that will allow customers of Tigo, Airtel and Zantel in Tanzania to send money to each other whether using Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money or EzyPesa on their mobile handsets. The e-money goes direct to the respective customer e-wallet account.

Diego Gutierrez, Tigo’s General Manager for Tanzania, commented “We are delighted to work with Airtel and Zantel to extend the mobile money universe in Tanzania. With even more transactions possible, our customers’ money is made even more safe and secure with this technology. 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.”

On his part Airtel Managing Director Sunil Colaso said: “Airtel is committed to introduce to our customers new innovative services that look beyond competition, a tremendous evolution to ensure mobile inclusion that is sought by many Tanzanians taking into account our reach across the country.”

Other benefits customers of the three companies would enjoy also include the ability to send money at more affordable rates and in a simplified way which does not require use of PIN codes when making withdrawals as has been the practice before signing of the agreement.

It is expected that the service will start by end of June.