Mobile money agreement brings transfers to 17 African countries

A new agreement will allow subscribers across Airtel’s entire African operation to send and receive money transfers over its network. The operator has partnered with MFS specialist BICS to offer the service.

Airtel Africa provides mobile communications services across 17 different markets in the African region. The agreement will enable Airtel Money customers to send and receive money instantly using a money transfer service supported by BICS. Subject to regulatory approvals in each of the countries, Airtel Africa will be connected to a growing community of mobile network operators, and money transfer organisations, through the HomeSend remittance hub.

HomeSend is a global hubbing service that enables mobile-centric money transfers, facilitating money transfers in real-time and enabling person-to-person transfers of cash, credit card payments or direct bank transfers. The addition of Airtel Africa will extend the international reach of money transfers to even more global destinations. This agreement follows the announcement from BICS in October that it had opened up two new mobile remittance corridors towards Africa, to allow mobile subscribers in the region to receive money transfers.

Frederic Salmon, VP Mobile Financial Services at BICS said: “The global footprint for mobile money transfers continues to grow rapidly, with Africa playing a prominent role. The Airtel Africa agreement enables mobile subscribers to send and receive money transfers, opening up a two-way model in the region."

Chidi Okpala, Airtel Africa’s Director and Head of Airtel Money: “Mobile is seen as a viable channel to transfer money in Africa. This agreement enables us to guarantee the availability of money transfer services for our subscriber and to deepen financial inclusion, expand cashless ecosystems and facilitate intra-Africa fund flows across our 17 markets. More so, our customers will no longer need to travel long distances because they want to send or receive money.”

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