Airtel partners Western Union to facilitate mobile remittance
Through the partnership with Western Union, Airtel Money customers will be able to send and receive international money transfers using the Airtel mobile money wallet on their phones.
Airtel Africa Plc. – a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel – said on Wednesday that it has signed a strategic partnership with Western Union, an international money transfer service.
Airtel, which provides telecommunications and mobile money services, said in a statement released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that through the partnership with Western Union, Airtel Money customers will be able to reliably send and receive international money transfers using the Airtel Africa mobile money wallet on their phones.
Operating across 14 African countries, Airtel Africa said this would pave the way for it to take an active part in the international money transfer business that happens to and from its operating countries.
"We are very excited to partner with Western Union to enable Airtel Money customers to access a world leading money transfer organisation,” Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, said. “International remittances into Africa are a lifeline to some of our customers. This partnership gives our customers the convenience of directly receiving and sending remittances from their Airtel mobile money wallets."
According to the World Bank Migration and Development Brief released last year, annual remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $529 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6 per cent over the previous record high of $483 billion in 2017. The bank estimated remittances to these set of countries were on track to reach $551 billion in 2019 and $597 billion by 2021.
The United States-based Western Union has over 500,000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories. In the statement signed by Simon O'Hara, Airtel's Group Company Secretary, the partnership with Western Union will further cater for the needs of its local and global community customers to move money and enable international cross-border payments.
Mandava noted that Airtel's customers “will now be automatically credited and debited via their Airtel mobile money wallets on their phone and can immediately access the funds to pay bills or merchants and transfer funds to family and friends or convert to cash from the widespread Airtel Money agents, kiosks and branches."
Airtel Africa is primarily listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and its secondary listing on the NSE was completed in July 2019.
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