How much it costs to send money btwn Kenya & Tanzania via Mpesa

A couple of weeks ago Safaricom and Vodacom announced a cross border money transfer service on the Tanzania – Kenya corridor. Both subsidiaries of UK-based Vodafone Group, are leaders in their respective home markets. Through this partnership, registered Mpesa and Vodacom users can send and receive money in either direction.

With assistance from my friend (Ofio) in Tanzania’s capital, Dar, I set to out to test this service and found out:

It costs 6.24% in total to send 4,000 TZs to Kenya. A 4.74% forex margin spread is applied plus 1.5% sending charges . The same applies for TZ to Kenya bound transactions from Vodacom to Mpesa.

Cost Breakdown

as per market rate on 11/3/2015 KES/TZS = 20.05

4,000 TZs = 199 KES

sending cost 60 TZs = 2.99 KES (1.5%)

KES/TZS rate applied by MPESA IMT = 21.10 (4.74%)

received on MPESA 189.56 KES

FX rate 4.74%

Total cost = 6.24% (4.74% + 1.5%)

What follows are documented results from 2 attempts – one successful from Tanzania to Kenya. The other a failed attempt from Kenya to Tanzania

Successful Attempt

Ofio while in Tanzania, has both a registered Vodacom and Safaricom line. He can freely send funds between his two lines (Vodacom <> Mpesa).

At 4.49 PM March 11

Ofio sends 4,000 TZs from his Vodacom (+2557657…) to Safaricom Mpesa (+2547251…). 60 TZs is deducted as a sending charge.


edited 1






Transaction goes through immediately. SMS notification confirming completed transaction on his Vodacom line

edit 2






At 4.55 PM

Transaction is complete as per SMS notification is received on his Mpesa line. Amount received 189.56 KES

ofio 3

Failed attempt

My failed attempt was in trying to send KES from Kenya to Ofio in Tanzania. I chose to send 700 KES. After conversations with customer care, I found out sending 700 KES attracts a 22 KES charge.

Shortly after sending

At 4.45 PM, Mar 11

I receive an error message from MPESA – IMT informing me my transaction was declined

Transaction declined

Straight after, I receive another SMS Mpesa notification conflicting with the first.

Transaction confirmed

In TZ, Ofio tells me no money received.

Next day, I make a follow up call to customer care. “why is my transaction is delayed?”

My case is escalated and placed on a customer service queue #1-790FIF2. Advised to wait.

Customer service request

After a couple of days of – Robert, Anthony & Margaret from customer service – and waiting, still no response. Frustrated, I tweeted on it


Eventually, on March 22 a technical employee got in touch to let me know amount will be reversed.

Dear Customer, we are in the process of reversing transaction GP93DT897. You will be notified once done.

It was reversed on March 23, I had to wait another day to fully access funds as the amount was not available to spend.

Reversed last



  1. i have been frustated yst with a similar thing..i sent 20,800 to an individual in TZ,he said he received only 428,896.. due to this conflicts i requested him to reimburse me the money as it was meant to pay some1 debts,he claimed to have sent me the same amount what i rceived was less then 2998 in my account,called customer pple almost 6-7 times all giving different stories and opinions..
    if this is a system of safaricom they are daylight looting us…its not just practical if that’s how they rob their clients!!!
    i need a firm explanation from them and a reimburse of my amount,this is our hard earned income just cos they have made an elasticity they shudnt be taking advantage of noble pple like this..

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