Africa’s leading hotel booking platform Jovago.com has announced the incorporation of Tigo Pesa, one of the region’s major mobile money transfer services. This partnership gives the customer yet another option for efficiency on top of the available card payments and pay-on-arrival model. “Africa is definitely moving on to the digital world, as part of this move we want to take in consideration the local market demands and habits, thus structure our strategies in response to the needs,” said the Managing Director- Estelle Verdier.
Jovago has announced its new partnership with Tigo–Tanzania’s leading Telecommunication Company. As part of this partnership, Tigo Pesa customers will now be able to pay for their accommodation booked on Jovago with their Tigo Pesa account. This comes at a time when integration of m-payments on online booking websites is seen as a crucial aspect in bolstering in the e-tourism industry. This is the 2nd integration of a mobile payment service provider on the booking platform. The partnership allows guests more online convenience and speed in the booking process.
Tigo Pesa is East Africa’s first cross-border money transfer with currency conversion and an app for the same. It’s evident that most interesting developments are taking place in mobile technology.
Commenting on the integration of Tigo Pesa with Jovago, Tigo Head of Mobile Financial Services Ruan Swanepoel said: “We are delighted to be working with Jovago to give our customers the convenience of paying securely for their hotel accommodation with their mobile phones. Paying with Tigo Pesa is the best way to travel.”
Verdier also explained that, in addition to the convenient payment methods Jovago currently offers the largest inventory of hotels in Africa and negotiates hotel rates on behalf of the customer to ensure customers find their ideal accommodation at the Best Price.
It’s important to note that during the last Quarter of 2014, Tanzania registered a 2.6% growth in mobile penetration, a notable rise from the previously recorded growth of 2.0%. Tanzania now has a total of around 28 million mobile phone subscribers, representing a mobile penetration of 63 percent.
According to a World Tourism Report, East Africa is the most successful and prominent location for mobile payments, with Kenya taking the lead at 80% – of its adult population adopting mobile payment.
In conclusion, Verdier underlined that currently over 30% percent of visits to jovago.com are channeled via a mobile device. In such context mobile payment integration is a key driver in the growth of this industry.
This is not the first time both companies have been involved in a common project. Jovago.com and Tigo Pesa are both supporters of UNICEF’s Passport to Life an initiative that seeks to have every
African child obtain official birth registration. When booking on Jovago customers are given the opportunity to support birth registration (5$ per booking donated to UNICEF) at no extra cost.