By Dipo Olowookere
The duo of Standard Chartered Bank and Airtel Africa Plc have come together to expand their operations on the continent.
This partnership supports Airtel Africa’s efforts to expand the range and depth of its Airtel Money offerings across its 19 million customer base, with new products and services helping to promote the wider adoption of mobile money and increasing financial inclusion.
A statement from Airtel Africa explained that the aim of the “strategic collaboration” is mainly to drive financial inclusion across key markets in Africa by providing customers with increased access to mobile financial services.
Under the new arrangement, both parties will design new, innovative products that will make their respective customers enjoy better financial services.
For example, with the deal, Airtel Money’s customers will be able to make real-time online deposits and withdrawals from Standard Chartered bank accounts, receive international money transfers directly to their wallets, and access savings products amongst other services.
In the same vein, corporate clients of Standard Chartered will be able to make rapid and secure bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into the Airtel Money customers’ wallet.
This reduces the risks associated with travelling long distances for cash payments and instead customers can go to any Airtel Money agent, kiosk, or branch to cash-out their funds.
Mobile banking transfers between Airtel Money and Standard Chartered Bank are now live in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Remaining products will be rolled out later this year subject to regulatory approvals.
According to the CEO of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, “Our relationship with Standard Chartered boosts financial inclusion across the continent, giving millions of people access to valuable banking services.
“We continue to invest heavily in cashing in and cashing out locations for our customers and increase our distribution. This means that our customers can now send or receive digital payments via Standard Chartered Bank directly to their mobile phones, as well as cash-out their funds at our exclusive kiosks and branches at their convenience.
“This highlights Airtel Africa’s commitment to providing affordable, innovative, best-in-class solutions to enhance the daily lives of our customers.”
On his part, the Regional CEO of Africa and Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Sunil Kaushal, stated that, “By collaborating with innovative organisations like Airtel Africa, we are accelerating our mobile and digital-led strategy to provide best in class financial services to Africa.
“Over the past year, Standard Chartered has rapidly launched digital banks across nine countries on the continent, allowing our customers to enjoy seamless services from the safety of their homes even during the peak of the pandemic.
“This partnership will further enhance the ability of our customers to manage and move money safely and securely and create market-leading financial solutions across countries.”
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