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International Money Transfer

What is mobile money transfer?


Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) refers to mobile-enabled money transfer services ÔÇô both domestic and cross-border. Essentially, itÔÇÖs sending and/or receiving money with your mobile phone.

How does it work?


This service allows anyone wishing to send money to Kenya to visit a Safaricom IMT partner and send money to an M-PESA mobile phone in Kenya. The transaction is similar to a traditional cash-to-cash money transfer, except that the sender specifies the recipient’s mobile phone number at the time the funds are sent. Recipients in Kenya must subscribe to the M-PESA service through Safaricom to access the service.

Who are the partners in this service?


Safaricom has so far partnered with the following authorized International Money Transfer organizations.



World remit

Skrill iT



No website (agent location only)


No website (agent location only)


Xpress Money

western union


How do I find an M-PESA location in Kenya?


Please log onto and look for the M-PESA Agents tab. Check the M-PESA section for details of current agent locations. This list is regularly updated.

Who can use the M-PESA International Money Transfer service?


The sender does not have to be a registered M-PESA customer to send money on this service. Any person registered for M-PESA can receive money via IMT.

What do I require in order to use M-PESA International Money Transfer Service?


  • You must be a Safaricom subscriber to receive funds through M-PESA IMT.
  • If you are not registered on M-PESA, you will get an SMS confirming that you have received funds and you need to register within 21 days to access the funds.
  • Please visit any M-PESA agent countrywide and you will be advised on how to register and activate your account. You will need your identification documents and your Safaricom line.

Where in Kenya can I receive money sent to my M-PESA account via IMT?


You can go to any M-PESA agent countrywide to withdraw your funds, just like when money is sent by another M-PESA customer. Alternatively, you can use the money to Lipa Na M-PESA, buy airtime or send money to other subscribers in Kenya.

How much money can I receive?


The maximum amount that can be sent at any one time via M-PESA is approximately Ksh70, 000. The limits per day, per month or per year shall depend on the country and the partner the money is sent from. The sender shall be advised by the preferred Partner on any applicable restriction.

What is the cost of sending money via M-PESA International Money Transfer?


Charges for sending money via M-PESA vary depending on the amount sent, the country from which it is being sent and the partner channel via which the money is being sent from. Each partner will advise the sender on applicable charges before the funds are sent.

What exchange rate will be used at the time the money is being sent?


Conversion will be done when the funds are sent. The sender will be advised at the point of sending of the prevailing exchange rate, and the equivalent amount the customer in Kenya will receive on their M-PESA account.

Will I be charged for receiving money?


You will not be charged for receiving IMT via M-PESA, but all normal M-PESA charges will subsequently apply, i.e., to send money to another M-PESA subscriber, withdraw cash etc.

Will any network coverage affect my collection of money sent to me from the UK?


Money will be received into your M-PESA account, even if it is sent to you when you are out of coverage area. You can always check your current balance on M-PESA the normal way.

How much time does it take for money sent to reach me in Kenya?


The money should reach you immediately. Normally, it will take just a few seconds for you to receive the SMS confirmation of the transaction. Note that if but you are not registered on M-PESA, you will receive the notification immediately but will need to register for M-PESA to access your money.

Will I get a message to notify me that I have received money?


As with any other M-PESA transaction, you will receive an SMS notifying you of the transaction details, including receipt number, amount in Ksh, balance, time stamp, sender and sender's location. Here are sample SMSes:

    • Sent via XYZ to a registered M-PESA customer: G68EG702 confirmed. You have received Ksh5, 000 from Diaspora Friend via XYZ on 24/4/14 at 3:56PM. New M-PESA balance is Ksh10, 500.
    • Sent via XYZ to a non-registered M-PESA customer: G68EG702 Confirmed. Ksh5, 000 was sent to you via XYZ and M-PESA. You must register at an M-PESA Agent within 21 days to access these funds. Receipt G68EG702 on 24/4/09 at 3:58PM. Please call customer care on 234

Can I use M-PESA if my line is expired?


The M-PESA service uses the Safaricom network for sending and receiving SMSes to and from your phone. Your Safaricom line will need to be active for you to use M-PESA. If your Safaricom line is expired, the one transaction you will be able to do is to use M-PESA to top up your line. Topping up will make your line active again!

What is the difference between a registered M-PESA customer and an unregistered customer?


An M-PESA customer's SIM card has M-PESA active menu on it and can access to all M-PESA services. An unregistered customer is one that can only receive money from an M-PESA customer and it can be Safaricom or any other mobile network. An unregistered customer can withdraw money sent to them by an M-PESA customer in Kenya from any Agent within 7 days, but cannot carry out other M-PESA transactions. Registered customers can also withdraw cash from participating ATM networks. Unregistered customers will have to register within 21 days to receive funds via the IMT service.

For IMT transactions using Western Union, what happens if the receiver isn't registered for M-PESA (but has a Safaricom line)?


As long as the recipient is on the Safaricom network, when a Mobile Money Transfer is sent, Safaricom will send an SMS to the receiver. They will be invited to register within 21 days. If they choose not to, or the 21 days elapse, the receiver can contact the sender for further transaction details and collect the money transfer through a Western Union Agent through the standard process.

What Anti Money Laundering (AML) controls are there to guard against money laundering?


All Partners are registered with their respective regulatory authorities for AML compliance. They are required to undertake certain due diligence on the remitters in compliance with the respective countries laws and regulations. Safaricom also carry out screening of senders and receivers as required by law. Moreover, in many countries, senders will be required to provide proof of ID to the Agent before they can complete a transaction. All transactions are also monitored to detect suspicious activity and take appropriately action.

What involvement have the Regulatory Authorities had with the M-PESA IMT launch?


Safaricom have since the inception of M-PESA worked closely with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Safaricom was authorized on 3rd August 2009 to transact foreign-exchange business, having satisfied the CBK that the required legal compliance and controls are being met. Our partners have all been authorized by the relevant regulatory authority in the countries they operate in to transact international remittances.

If I want to be an M-PESA IMT Agent, what do I require?


In order to provide M-PESA IMT transactions you will need to comply with the laws and regulations in the country where funds are being remitted from. For more information, please send a request to