Airtel Africa partners Ecobank Group to enhance mobile financial services access

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Airtel Africa has partnered Ecobank Transnational Incorporated to allow millions Airtel Money and Ecobank customers across Africa to improve access to mobile financial services.

Airtel Africa, in a statement posted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website on Monday, said that the partnership would improve access of the customers to mobile financial services.

It said that the partnership with the pan-African banking group would allow millions of Airtel Money and Ecobank customers across Africa to improve their access to mobile financial services and carry out a variety of mobile transactions.

“This partnership, which is subject to regulatory approval in each market, will enable Airtel Money customers , through Ecobank’s digital financial services ecosystem, make online deposits and withdrawals, among others.

“The partnership will also allow Ecobank corporate account holders to make bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into Airtel Money customer wallets,” it said the statement.

Airtel Africa said that with the partnership, Ecobank would be able to sponsor Airtel Money to issue both virtual and physical debit and pre-paid cards to Airtel Money customers.

Commenting on the partnership , Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa Chief Executive Officer, said that the partnership was a further demonstration of its commitment to provision of affordable solutions.

“This partnership is a further demonstration of Airtel Africa’s commitment to provide 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,” Mandava said.

Mr Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer, was also quoted as saying that the partnership was to strengthen financial inclusion.

“We believe 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,” Ayeyemi said.