Cellulant to power Barclays, Absa services


Image: The board of Cellulant. By Cellulant
The board of Cellulant

By Carole Kimutai, Nairobi, Kenya

A leading local but continentally operating mobile commerce services provider, Cellulant, has sealed a deal to provide digital services for Barclays Africa across its key markets in Africa.

Cellulant, which powers power mobile banking for more than 32 banks in Africa, operates Africa’s leading mobile commerce network, with a growing turnover of more than Kshs 10billion.

As part of its, ‘One Africa’ strategy, Barclays Africa has now teamed up with Cellulant to make its customer digital experience - mobile and internet banking as well as ATMs - more convenient for customers across its 12 African countries, by deploying a new aggregator platform.

Speaking when he confirmed the new partnership, Barclays Africa Corporate Banking Managing Director John Gachora explained that the new deal will facilitate the banks strategic efforts to provide convenient consumer access platforms. The partnership will also allow the bank to innovate and develop new products and services for its customers across Africa.

The Barclays Africa boss was flanked by Cellulant’s Chief Business Officer, Paul Ndichu, who explained that the new partnership will increase Barclays Africa customer’s activity on its e-channels, allowing the bank to transact with a wide network of merchants across the Barclays Africa and Absa network.

In this new model, which will be rolled out in a phased approach, Cellulant will provide a merchant/bill payment platform as well as a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) aggregator to facilitate mobile commerce solutions’ for Barclays Africa.

"This new digital drive is all part of our One Africa strategy to increase channel access for both our retail customers and corporate clients.  For our corporate clients, this offers an efficient and cost-effective channel to bill and receive payments from their customers.  We are committed to listening to and meeting the needs of all our customers,” Gachora

The new aggregator platform, Ndichu explained, will be deployed in Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles, Botswana and Kenya, thereby allowing  its users across the continent to enjoy mobile banking, merchant payments and other banking services on a multi-channelled approach.

"This is a first for the banking industry in Africa and is the Pan-African infrastructural model for our mobile commerce network. We are really proud to be executing this for Barclays and Absa," said Ndichu.

And added: “We have built a mobile commerce network that is connected to different platforms across different value chains in Africa such as MNO wallets, banks, Merchant bill payment gateways and content delivery channels to deliver a transformational experience on mobile.”

Making use of Cellulant as an aggregator will also save the bank time and money by providing real time connectivity to critical third parties and will enable successfulapplications such as Hello Money, Internet Banking, Mobile Wallet (e.g. MPESA) and airtime top-up on all Barclays Africa e-channels.

Cellulant drives mobile commerce in 10 countries: - Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Mauritius, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and now Zimbabwe and Mozambique and is one of the first companies to be issued with the Mobile payments license in Nigeria.

In Africa, Cellulant enables mobiles commerce over 30 mobile networks for different industries including banking, insurance, travel, music, utilities, retail and manufacturing.

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