The new service can potentially benefit 100 million mobile phone users across the continent
Airtel Africa telecom provider and Mastercard launched a new cross-border remittance service, which will enable Airtel subscribers across 14 African countries to send and receive money quickly, safely and securely.
Airtel will leverage Mastercard’s global network and digital payments capabilities to enable its 100 million users in Africa to send money to and receive funds from wallets in over 145 markets across the world.
The service will be rolled out in a few phases. The supported markets will be added gradually. Ultimately, Mastercard Cross-Border Services will support fund transfer in Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
“The digital economy continues to grow and expand, and by rolling out this exciting, seamless remittance service, we’re making it easier for more people to transfer funds with ease, security and certainty. As a global technology company with a long history in Africa, Mastercard is committed to the continent’s growth and connecting its people to convenient digital solutions that will enable a more financially inclusive future for all. We are proud to continue building on our partnership with Airtel Africa by adding more value and choice for its customers,” said Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President, Digital Partners and Enablers, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.
Remittances represent an important tool for economic growth and poverty alleviation in Africa. Remittances sent by African migrant workers are benefiting over 200 million of their family members, the majority of whom live in rural areas (55% of the population). An estimated remittance inflow into the continent is $95.6 billion a year.
Leveraging the existing network of mobile communications for remittances in Africa makes perfect sence. The majority of local citizens are used to mobile money services. The concept of mobile money enables millions of unbanked and underbanked people in emerging economies to access digital financial services. Therefore, in 2021, Sub-Saharan Africa saw the most significant increase in mobile money. Its utilization for international remittances grew by 28% globally in 2022.