TechInAfrica — Airtel Africa has announced its partnership with Finablr, a global platform for payments and foreign exchange solutions. This tie-up allows customers to send money from over 100 countries into Airtel Money mobile wallets across Africa.
Airtel Africa will support Finablr’s technology capabilities to develop and deploy digital solutions. This will enable African expatriates to settle payments into Airtel Money wallets in real-time through the Airtel Money mobile app and the Airtel Africa online portal.
Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, said in a statement, “We are excited that Airtel Money will collaborate with Finablr to introduce global payments services, enabling customers to make cross-border remittances, pay bills, make purchases and withdraw cash from our outlets and agents across the continent. This is another important example of how mobile technology will play a key role in changing the way people connect with their homes in Africa.”
The services will be launched to the market phase-by-phase, with the first country to go live by year-end. The launch will be supported by a comprehensive worldwide marketing program to introduce the new services to African communities overseas and to receivers in Africa.
With a presence in 14 countries in Africa, mainly in East Africa and Central and West Africa, Airtel Africa gets access to Finablr’s global payments platform spanning 170 countries with potential access to Airtel’s more than 100 million subscriber base.
As estimated by the World Bank, inbound remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa grew almost 10 percent to reach US$46 billion in 2018. As the main source of external financing in the region, this is critical for its socio-economic development. With the average cost of 9.4 percent, Sub-Saharan Africa is named amongst the most expensive remittance corridors internationally.
The partnership between Airtel Africa and Finablr will benefit the potential of mobile financial services by simplifying and streamlining remittances into the region. This reflects the shared commitment of the companies towards driving financial inclusion and by reducing the cost of remittances, it supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals.