•The new service will enable Airtel customers in 14 African countries to send money to and receive funds from wallets in over 145 markets across the world.
•Airtel will leverage Mastercard’s global network and digital payments capabilities to reach over 100 million Airtel Africa mobile phone users.
Airtel and Mastercard are eyeing a chunk of the annual $95.6 billion (Sh13.7 trillion) cross-border remittances into Africa.
This is after the two firms jointly launched a new cross-border remittance service that will see Kenya and 14 other African nations become the first to implement the service.
According to the two firms the service will be rolled out in a phased approach to provide consumers with a seamless digital experience connecting them to millions across the world.
An estimated $95.6 billion a year flows into the continent, making remittances a major source of foreign currency in Africa.
This service will provide customers with the convenience and access they need to reach their loved ones across the globe, promoting financial empowerment and contributing to the economic growth of the continent.
Through a single and secure point of access, Mastercard Cross-Border Services will support the outward transfer of funds in a phased manner across each of the 14 African markets where Airtel has a presence.
This includes Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Through timely delivery, secured transfers and reasonable transaction costs, the platform will connect consumers to wallets in over 145 markets.
“We are thrilled to embark on this journey with Mastercard, as we work together to roll out a world-class remittance service to our customers," said Airtel Money Chief Executive Officer, Ian Ferraro,
The launch comes at a time that inflows have recorded a marginal drop due to tightening of the of monetary policy by the US Federal Reserve as part of measures combating inflation.
"The digital economy continues to grow and expand, and by rolling out this remittance service, we’re making it easier for more people to transfer funds with ease, security and certainty,” added Mastercard, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Senior Vice President Ngozi Megwa
According to Mastercard’s 2022 Borderless Payments Report, digital payments are seeing strong growth with three-quarters of consumers who send and receive cross-border payments doing so through mobile apps.
This growth in cross border mobile transactions has created a genuine need to make cross border remittances easy and secure for both banked and unbanked consumers.
Airtel and Mastercard share this passion for digital transformation and making mobile financial services accessible to everyone across the continent.