Telecommunications giant MTN Uganda has become the first mobile network operator in the country to enable cross-network mobile money transfers among all the companies using the service.
MTN customers can now send to and receive money from Airtel Money, Africell Money and UTL M-Sente.
The development follows a 2017 directive by the Bank of Uganda, asking telecom companies to implement mobile money interoperability to allow seamless cross-network mobile money transfers.
Mobile money interoperability has been touted as one of the solutions to increased regional dominance of the telecoms market by companies like Safaricom and MTN.
Greater convenience in cross-network mobile money transfers are expected to encourage customers to sign up onto smaller operators.
With interrogability arrangements, money received from rival networks will reflect in real time as cash available for use in their mobile wallets.
Tanzania and Rwanda were the first countries in East Africa to adopt mobile money interoperability.
In Uganda, MTN rolled out the first phase of the system by onboarding Airtel, then Africell in phase 2 and it has completed with UTL or Ugandan Telecom.
To send money from MTN Uganda using the cross-network mobile money transfer system to Airtel, Africell or UTL – you’ll dial *165*1*1#.
You’ll then type the number of the mobile money user you want to send funds to in the box that’ll be provided.
MTN Uganda has also partnered with MTN Rwanda and Safaricom to facilitate regional cross-network mobile money tansfers.
To use this service, you’ll dial *165*1# and then select ‘international transfer’.