Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunications service provider, and Finablr, a global platform for payments and foreign exchange solutions, have entered into an extensive global partnership that will see the two companies bringing together complementary capabilities.
As per the agreement, Airtel Africa mobile money operations will be integrated with Finablr’s technology platform and global network to facilitate seamless inward and outbound cross-border payments. The services are expected to be launched market-by-market in a phased manner, with the first country to go live by year-end.
The arrangement will allow customers to leverage Finablr’s global network to send money from over 100 countries into Airtel Money mobile wallets across Africa. Additionally, Airtel Africa will leverage Finablr’s technology capabilities to develop and deploy digital solutions, enabling African expatriates to settle payments into Airtel Money wallets in real time through the Airtel Money mobile app and the Airtel Africa online portal.
Through this partnership, Airtel Africa benefits from gaining access to Finablr’s global payments connectivity, technology platform and its omnichannel sourcing and distribution capabilities spanning 170 countries. For Finablr, the partnership with Airtel Africa will help accelerate its expansion across the continent with potential access to Airtel’s 100 million+ subscriber base.
Following the launch, the partners will explore additional opportunities including intra-Africa payments and other value-added services.
Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa said, “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.”
Promoth Manghat, Group CEO, Finablr commented, “Together, building on the strength of our technology platform, we are delivering fintech at scale thereby empowering consumers and businesses across the continent.”
Inbound remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa grew nearly 10 percent to reach US $46 billion in 2018 as per World Bank estimates and, as the primary source of external financing in the region, is critical for its socio-economic development.