Financial Inclusion: Airtel Enters Into Partnership With Standard Chartered Bank

Yemisi Izuora

Airtel Africa has gone into partnership with the Standard Chartered Bank  to drive financial inclusion across key markets in Africa by providing customers with increased access to mobile financial services.

Airtel Africa disclosed this in a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday.

It said that through collaboration, both companies would  work together to create new innovative products aimed at enhancing the accessibility of financial services to serve the  people across Africa better.

“In line with this, Airtel Money’s customers will be able to make real-time online deposits and withdrawals from Standard Chartered bank accounts.

“It will enable customers to receive international money transfers directly to their wallets, and access savings products amongst other services.

“The Standard Chartered’s corporate clients will also be able to make rapid and secure bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into the Airtel Money customers wallet,” the company said.

According to Airtel, the collaboration will reduce the risks associated with traveling long distances for cash payments.

It noted that, instead, customers could  go to any Airtel Money agent, kiosk, or branch to cash-out their funds.

Sunil Kaushal, the Regional Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Africa and Middle East said,“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  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, “Kaushal said.

The chief executive officer said that the  recent announcement was  another step taken by Standard Chartered to extend its reach and enhance its unique product  offering.

Kaushal said that by partnering with mobile wallet providers, the bank had expanded its network into markets where mobile wallets were prevalent.

He said it offered solutions that enabled corporate and institutional clients to leverage the opportunities presented by mobile money.

Kaushal also noted that the collaboration would enable efficient, scalable e-commerce and m-commerce solutions.

“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 that  promote wider adoption of mobile money and increase financial inclusion, “he said.

Raghunath Mandava, Chief Executive Officer,  Airtel Africa, said: “Our relationship with Standard Chartered boosts financial inclusion across the continent, giving millions of people access to valuable banking services.

“We will 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.”

He said that the collaboration highlights Airtel Africa’s commitment to providing affordable, innovative, best-in-class solutions to enhance the daily lives of its customers.

Mandava said that mobile banking transfers between Airtel Money and Standard Chartered Bank were now live in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

He noted that the remaining products would be rolled out later this year subject to regulatory approvals

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