Subscribers of M-Pesa, Kenya’s largest mobile money platform can now send money to China through WeChat, one of the leading social media and payment app in China.
The money transfer has been made possible through Family Bank’s partnership with SimbaPay, a financial tech firm based in London.
The initiative will see millions of M-Pesa users send money to their friends or family in China who use WeChat, which has more than a billion subscribers.
Users wishing to send money to China will use the dedicated PayBill number 261059 on M-Pesa. The number belongs to Family Bank. The recipient’s number is entered as the account number after entering the PayBill number. Upon the completion of the transaction, the money can be accessed through WeChat’s mobile wallet.
The transaction cost is a bit inconsistent and is dependent on the amount one sends. For instance, 350 shillings is charged as a cost of sending 80 US dollars, which loosely translates to 8,200 shillings.
Customers will receive a notification stating how much they will send in Kenya shillings, the current exchange rate, and the Chinese Yuan the other person will receive. The exchange rate will be updated on a daily basis.
According to Family Bank’s Chief Operations Officer, Godfrey Kamau, the partnership is a huge milestone for the company and its customers.
“We are glad to extend, more so to our SME customers, a solution that offers an instant, reliable, traceable and affordable channel to send money to their suppliers and business partners in China,” he said.
Apart from the M-Pesa benefit, customers and businesses in the country will send money to the same Chinese platform through Family Bank’s PesaPap. Revenues resulting from the transactions will be shared by SimbaPay and Family Bank.
The move further positions Safaricom and the bank at a better rank regarding international money transfers. In April, PayPal, Safaricom, and TransferTo partnered to ensure seamless M-Pesa transactions through the hundreds of millions of active PayPal accounts across the globe.
Simba Pay is hoping to benefit from the partnership with Family Bank by easing money transfers between China and Kenya. The process is relatively faster than the already existing methods.