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Moneygram and Vodafone sign mobile payments deal

Mobile phone network operator Vodafone has announced a deal with money transfer firm Moneygram that will allow its customers to transfer funds from 200 countries to users of the M-Pesa mobile payment service.

The deal will see the capability rolled out to customers this spring, allowing consumers to pay cash into M-Pesa accounts or transfer money between accounts, through Moneygram's website of mobile application.

M-Pesa is currently in operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Fiji, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania and can be used by people who do not have access to a traditional bank account.

Michael Joseph, Vodafone director of M-Pesa said: "There is huge demand for sending funds back to family and friends in your home market and an estimated $90 billion per year is transferred to M-Pesa markets from around the globe."

He added that the partnership with MoneyGram will provide Vodafone users with the most extensive global network and greatest number of access points for consumers wishing to transfer funds to M-Pesa users.

By Gary Cooper