Visa and Bharti Airtel have announced a partnership to bring innovative mobile payment services to seven markets in Africa including Kenya, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles and Tanzania.
Visa and Airtel will build on the existing capabilities of Airtel’s Mobile Money allowing subscribers to use their Airtel Money account to pay in stores and online wherever Visa is accepted. Additionally, customers can withdraw money and make payments from their Airtel Money account using their Airtel Money Visa companion card.
“This agreement with Airtel allows us to give consumers, who have previously lacked access to formal financial services, secure and convenient ways to pay using their mobile phones,” said Vish Sowani, Vice President of MNO Partnerships for Visa. “Mobile payment services will help drive greater financial inclusion in Africa by bringing the latest digital payment advancements into the everyday experiences of Airtel’s customers.”
In addition to everyday transactions in stores, online and at ATMs, Airtel Money can also be used to make micro-payments, conduct fund transfers, purchase airtime and pre-paid electricity, plus Internet bundles – using an easy, safe mobile experience.
“We are excited to embark on the next phase of development for Airtel Money with our new partner Visa,” said Chidi Okpala, Director & Head – Airtel Money Africa. “We can look forward to further empowering our Airtel Money customers with access to retail, ATM and online payments using only their Airtel Mobile Phone and Companion Card to manage all their mobile payment needs.”
Visa and Airtel have already launched an Airtel Money Visa Card in Kenya and will roll out services in other markets including Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles and Tanzania starting in early 2015.