Airtel Africa Plc has partnered Finablr, a global platform for payments and foreign exchange solutions, on an initiative that facilitates seamless inward and outbound cross-border payments.
According to the statement released by the telecom company, the partnership would join both company’s complementary capabilities by integrating the Airtel Africa mobile money operations with Finablr’s technology platform.
Speaking on the new partnership, Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, expressed great delight that Airtel money with its new collaboration can now cross border payments.
“We are excited that Airtel Money will collaborate with Finablr to introduce global payments services, enabling customers to make cross-border remittances, pay bills, make purchases and withdraw cash from our outlets and agents across the continent.” – Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa
He added that the payment initiative is an example of how mobile technology will play a key role in changing the way people connect with their homes in Africa.
Through the partnership, Airtel will benefit from gaining access to Finablr’s global payments connectivity, technology platform, its omnichannel sourcing and distribution capabilities spanning about 170 countries.
Leveraging Finablr’s global network and technological capabilities, Airtel Africa intends to develop and deploy digital solutions, enabling African expatriates to make payments into Airtel Money wallets in real-time through the Airtel mobile app and the Airtel Africa online portal.
According to Finablr, the partnership with Airtel Africa would help accelerate its expansion plans across Africa with potential access to Airtel’s 100 million+ subscribers.
Recently, Airtel partnered with Mastercard and Ecobank to promote and add new offers and services to its mobile money platform. The latest partnership with Finablr is Airtel’s third major partnership geared towards providing affordable and reliable payment services to their customers.
By partnering with Mastercard, Airtel has created an Airtel Money Mastercard virtual card which allows for seamless global online payments as well as Quick Response (QR) payments across the one million businesses across Africa that accept Mastercard.
Also, Airtel users, even those using mobile phones among the unbanked population, will be able to make online payments globally with their Airtel Money Mastercard virtual card without connecting to bank accounts.
However, Airtel’s partnership with Ecobank means that users of Airtel Money are able to carry out transactions like online deposits and withdrawals between their mobile money wallets and Ecobank accounts.
The partnership would also allow in-store merchant payments, effect real-time domestic and intra-Africa funds transfers as well as provide loan facilities to Airtel Mobile Money users.
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 from the bank.
Also, users that are corporate account holders will be able to make bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into Airtel Money customer wallets.
With Airtel’s collaboration with Finablr, Airtel money users will be able to use Finablr’s global network from over 100 countries to facilitate seamless inward and outbound cross-border payments into Airtel Money mobile wallets across Africa, in a convenient, secure and cost-effective manner.
Airtel has explained that the Ecobank partnership is subject to regulatory approval in each market, like the CBN in Nigeria for example and the Finabrl collaboration is expected to be launched in a market-by-market phased manner, with the first country to go live before the end of the year.
The new offers will be privy to Airtel Money’s over 14 million users across Africa providing essential tools to improve the financial payments.
Also, the string of partnerships by Airtel Africa shows a strong power move by the telecom company towards diving digital financial inclusion in the continent.