Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Africa, and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the parent company of Ecobank, with operations in 33 countries, on Monday said they are partnering to enable millions of Airtel Money and Ecobank customers across Africa have more access to mobile financial services and carry out a variety of mobile transactions.
The partnership, according to a joint statement, is subject to regulatory approval in each market they operate in, and will enable Airtel Money customers, through Ecobank’s digital financial services ecosystem, make online deposits and withdrawals. It will also allow them to make real-time domestic and international money transfers, in-store merchant payments, and access loans and savings products amongst others.
Ecobank corporate account holders can equally make bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into Airtel Money customer wallets, besides being able to sponsor Airtel Money to issue both virtual and physical debit and pre-paid cards to Airtel Money customers.
The statement quoted Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, as saying the “partnership is a further demonstration of Airtel Africa’s commitment to providing affordable, simple and innovative solutions for our consumers across Africa. We will continue to offer locally relevant M-Commerce solutions with partners like Ecobank in order to enhance the daily lives of our customers.”
Ecobank Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi, expressed belief “that financial inclusion can ultimately contribute to economic development, collaborating with major telecommunications providers in Africa is, therefore, a key strategic driver towards closing the gap between the banked and the underbanked.
“Hence this partnership with Airtel Africa which makes Ecobank financial services available to any Airtel line registered on Airtel Money, in our markets where regulatory approvals are in place. This potential extensive reach will further provide convenience to customers, intra-country and particularly for cross-border transactions and remittances across Africa,” he stressed.