All about Mobile Money

What is Mobile Money?

Mobile money is a technology that allows people to receive, store and spend money using a mobile phone. It’s sometimes referred to as a 'mobile wallet' or by the name of a specific service such as mPesa, EcoCash, GCash, Tigo Pesa and many more. There are more than 270 different mobile money services around the world, although they are most popular in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Mobile money is a popular alternative to both cash and banks because it’s easy to use, secure and can used anywhere there is a mobile phone signal.

How does mobile money work?

Mobile money is a service that stores funds in a secure electronic account, linked to a mobile phone number. In some cases, the mobile money number will be the same as the phone number, but not always. Mobile money is often provided by the same companies that run the country's mobile phone services and is available to both pre-pay and contract customers.

The service allows users to store, send, and receive money using their mobile phone. They can buy items in shops or online, pay bills, school fees, and top up mobile airtime. They can also withdraw cash at authorised agents.

If the user wants to pay a bill or send money to another person, they simply select the relevant service from their phone’s mobile money menu. It’s really as simple as sending a text message.

What are the benefits of mobile money?

Almost anyone who has a mobile phone can have a mobile money account. It’s so accessible, which makes it extremely useful in more remote parts of the world, where there aren’t any banks. Here are its other benefits:

  1. Multi-faceted – there’s so much users can do with a mobile money account. They can receive, store, spend and send money all from the account on their mobile phone.
  2. Direct – users can receive money directly to their mobile phones without going through any middlemen.
  3. Fast – users can receive, send and spend money instantly.
  4. Convenient – mobile money accounts are always to hand as they sit on users’ mobile phones, Mobile money can be used anywhere there’s a mobile phone signal.
  5. Secure - funds held in a mobile money account are protected by local financial regulations. Users’ identity must be checked - making it hard for fraudsters and criminals to use these services illegally.
  6. Low cost – if you send mobile money with WorldRemit and you’ll find our fees are low and we offer bank-beating exchange rates.

What is a mobile money transfer

A mobile money transfer is a fast, easy and secure transfer whereby a sender sends money from their bank, credit/debit card or own mobile money account to another mobile money account. For a transfer to take place - a recipient needs a mobile money account and the sender requires the recipient’s mobile money account number. Funds can then be transferred in an instant.

A mobile money operator is a mobile money service provider that develops and delivers financial services through mobile phones and mobile telephone networks. Here are two of the largest mobile money operators in Africa and beyond:

  • MTN – MTN delivers mobile money service to 22.2 million people in 15 countries worldwide. Find out more.
  • M-Pesa – (M for mobility, pesa Swahili for money) is a mobile money service delivered by Vodafone for Safaricom and Vodacom. It operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Sth Africa, India and Eastern Europe.
  • Sending to a mobile money account with WorldRemit Sending to a mobile money account is easy with WorldRemit. In fact, we’re connected to more mobile money services than any other money transfer provider.

Your transfer normally arrives instantly, day or night. And your recipient doesn’t have to travel anywhere to collect it. They’ll get a notification on their phone when the money has been added to their account. Plus, you’ll also receive a confirmation when the transfer is complete.

International mobile money transfers

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Ask your recipient if they have a Mobile Money account. If they do, you will need to get the following information:
    • Mobile Money number (usually the same as the mobile phone number)
    • Name of the Mobile Money service (e.g. MTM Mobile Money, Tigo Pesa etc.)
  2. Check to see if WorldRemit supports sending to Mobile Money in the recipient's county by selecting that country on the WorldRemit website or mobile app. A list of available transfer options will be displayed. Or you can check the full list of Mobile Money services here
  3. Follow the on-screen steps to send money. During the sending process, you will be asked to enter and confirm the recipient's Mobile Money number.

Please check the number carefully before sending to ensure that it goes to the correct account.

Why choose WorldRemit?

An illustration of a desktop PC and a mobile phone

We're Simple

No need to visit an agent. Send 70 currencies to 130 countries, from your smartphone or computer

An illustration of two hands forming a heart

We’re Safe

We use industry-leading technology that protects your money and guarantees it arrives safely every time.

An illustration of a spaceship

We're Fast

95% of our transfers are ready in minutes

An illustration of a piggy bank

We’re Low-cost

See our low fees and our best exchange rates up front, with no hidden costs

Send on the go and track your transfer with our app

google play buttonapp store button