It is now possible to send and receive money from across the world on your mobile phone. This follows a money transfer partnership between leading telecommunications firm, Safaricom, and Western Union.
This partnership is the result of Safaricom pushing new boundaries as the company continues to keep Kenya at the forefront of the mobile world. Also, through this partnership, Safaricom customers, their friends and families will benefit from affordable, faster and more convenient international remittances.
The money received in their M-PESA will be available to use straightaway for any M-PESA transaction or for withdrawal as cash at any Safaricom agent across the country.
The charges for sending money home from foreign countries are also expected to come down. Currently:
The average cost of sending money from the United Kingdom has been at an average of 6.6 per cent of the amount being sent.
International Money Transfer options charge between Sh. 95 and Sh. 1,550 for the same amounts that M-PESA Global is charging between 100 and Sh. 500.
Below is a table showing the amounts you can send or receive via M-PESA Global and their charges:
Below is a table showing the transfer amounts and charges of an international money transfer service:
Minimum Amount (Ksh.)
Maximum Amount (Ksh.)
Transaction Charges (Ksh.)
Traditionally, sending money from abroad to Kenya has been arduous task. The requirements have included travels, identification items, and back and forth communication between the sender and the receiver.
When sending money from Western Union to a bank, you would previously be required to:
Present a form of identification such as a passport
Fill up a transaction form
Pay transactions fees
Request for a Western Union reference number
Contact person receiving money and give them reference number
When traditionally receiving money from a Western Union agency, you would be required to:
Request money transfer reference number from sender
Travel to a Western Union agency, such as a bank with your reference number.
Present reference number and fill up forms.
Registering on M-PESA Global
Before you send money, you will need to make a one-off free registration on your line. Once you register, a text message confirming your registration will be sent to you. You can do this on your mobile phone by:
Select Opt in
Read Terms and Conditions
Accept or Decline
Enter your M-PESA Pin.
When you dial *840#, you will be welcomed with the following message:
Welcome to M-PESA Global service
Send Money Abroad
Sending and receiving on M-PESA Global
With the new M-PESA Global, you will not need to travel to an international money transfer agency or a bank. Nor will you have to sign up forms in order to access money sent to you from your loved ones.
You will only be required to:
Accept terms and conditions to enter
Select ‘Send Money Abroad’
Select the location of Western Union
Select new recipient
Enter the recipient’s first name
Enter the recipient’s last name
Enter the recipient’s middle name
Enter the amount you want to send
Pick a destination
Enter the 2 letter country ISO. This is the 2 letter abbreviation for country names such as KE for Kenya, UG for Uganda, and ZA for South Africa.
Enter purpose of funds
Enter source of funds
Confirm transaction details and charges
Enter M-PESA pin
Once you have successfully sent the money, you will receive the first text message. You will shortly thereafter receive a second text message with the MTCN (also known as a money transfer control number) from M-PESA Global which you will share with the recipient.
Sending money from East Africa
Interestingly, you can easily use M-PESA Global to send money to Kenya when in any East African country. For example, you can send money to your relatives, social acquaintances, and even businesses from Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda.
To send money in Rwanda:
Select Send money to M-PESA Kenya.
You will use your MTN Line to send the money.
To send money in Uganda:
Select send money to Kenya.
You will send the amount using your MTN Line.
To send money in Tanzania:
Select ‘Send money to M-PESA Kenya’.
You will send your funds using your Vodacom line.
Apart from dialing the *840# code on your phone, you can also send money through the Safaricom app known as MySafaricom. To send money through MySafaricom App:
Download the MySafaricom App from Google Playstore
Install the App on your mobile device
Open the MySafaricom App on your mobile phone
Navigate to M-PESA
Select M-PESA Global
Read and accept Terms and Conditions
Enter M-PESA Pin
Receive a confirmation text message from Safaricom.
The new partnership is expected to ease the growing diaspora remittances that are currently at an all-time high. For example:
In 2015: Kenyans abroad sent home Sh. 156 billion.
In 2016: Kenyans living abroad sent in Sh. 174.30 billion.
In 2017: Kenyans living abroad sent in Sh. 197.12 billion.
In 2018: Kenyans living abroad are expected to send in an estimated Sh. 250 billion.