The Airtel-Telkom Kenya merger is a dead deal following a mutual agreement to stop pursuing the partnership that would have made the two operators the second biggest carrier in Kenya.
Putting the matter behind, Airtel’s bigger sibling Airtel Africa and Standard Chartered have inked a collaboration that will see Airtel Money users get more value from the mobile financial product.
In what they call a means to drive financial inclusion in key markets in the continent, the partnership is also fronted as a channel that will see customers get increased access to financial services.
Furthermore, the lender and carrier will co-create products that will align with the needs of revitalized financial inclusion activities.
One of the first steps toward meeting this goal is that Airtel Money customers will now be able to make real-time online deposits and withdrawals from Standard Chartered bank accounts.
At the same time, Airtel Money users will be able to receive international money transfers directly to their wallets, as well as access savings products and other related services.
StanChart corporate clients will also be able to make rapid and secure bulk disbursements such as payroll payments directly to Airtel Money wallets.
“This reduces the risks associated with traveling long distances for cash payments and instead customers can go to any Airtel Money agent, kiosk, or branch to cash-out their funds,” reads a statement from StanChart.
Airtel Africa’s mobile money product has 19 million active users.
Lastly, mobile banking transfers are already active between the partners in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. Additional products will be launched after they have been approved by regulators at a later date.
What they said
By collaborating with innovative organizations like Airtel Africa, we are accelerating our mobile and digital-led strategy to provide the best in class financial services to Africa. Over the past year, Standard Chartered has rapidly launched digital banks across 9 countries on the continent, allowing our customers to enjoy seamless services from the safety of their homes even during the peak of the pandemic.
Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa, and the Middle East
Our relationship with Standard Chartered boosts financial inclusion across the continent, giving millions of people access to valuable banking services. We 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.
Raghunath Mandava, CEO, Airtel Africa