Telecoms service provider, Airtel Africa, has partnered with pan-African banking group, Ecobank to improve its users access to mobile financial services.
Leveraging Ecobank’s digital financial services ecosystem and Pan-African spread (operating in over 33 countries), this partnership will see the over 14 million Airtel Money users carry out a variety of mobile transactions across Africa.
This partnership is, however, subject to regulatory approval in each of the players market, like the CBN in Nigeria for example.
Speaking on the partnership, Airtel Africa CEO, Raghunath Mandava, says it is in furtherance of the company’s commitment to provide digital financial solutions on the continent.
“This partnership is a further demonstration of Airtel Africa’s commitment to provide affordable, simple and innovative solutions for our consumers across Africa,” he said.
Recently, the telco partnered with Mastercard to allow its users carry out transactions seamlessly. This includes global online payments with an Airtel Money Mastercard virtual card as well as payments at Mastercard powered business via Quick Response (QR) codes.
Now the partnership with Ecobank takes these offerings a notch higher. This will mean that users of Airtel Money are able to carry out transactions between their mobile money wallets and Ecobank accounts.
Users can make online deposits and withdrawals, make in-store merchant payments as well as effect real time domestic and intra-Africa funds transfers. The partnership would also provide instant bank accounts (savings) as well as loan facilities to Airtel Mobile Money users.
It also gives users a free flow of transaction on the banking platform, as corporate account holders will be able to make bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into Airtel Money customer wallets.
Like in the case of the Mastercard partnership, Airtel Money users will also be able to request for virtual debit and pre-paid cards as well as physical cards.
In a similar move, Ecobank signed a partnership with MTN last year to enable both companies offer better mobile financial services to their million of users.
This is good for the industry as it shows mobile money operators and banks are beginning to combine forces to deepen digital financial inclusion across the continent.