Standard Chartered Bank and Airtel Africa have entered into a strategic collaboration that they say will drive financial inclusion across some key markets across Africa. How they aim to do this is by co-creating new financial services products aimed at enhancing accessibility to people across Africa.

What is interesting is that as part of the collaboration, Standard Chartered’s business clients will be able to make bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into the Airtel Money customers wallet.

“By collaborating with innovative organisations like Airtel Africa, we are accelerating our mobile and digital-led strategy to provide 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. This partnership will further enhance the ability of our customers to manage and move money safely and securely and create market-leading financial solutions across countries,” said Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East at Standard Chartered.

Expanding financial inclusion across Africa

The past decade has seen a boom in the number of mobile money services available to Africans. So much so that it is being reported that approximately 50% of all the mobile money transactions in the world originate in Africa.

This rise in Fintech solutions across the continent has seen traditional financial institutions, startups, and telecommunications companies all coming together in various partnerships and collaborations in the bid to expand financial inclusion across Africa.

This announcement by Standard Chartered and Airtel continues this trend.

Financial services partnership

The recent announcement is another step taken by Standard Chartered to further extend its reach and enhance its unique product offering. By partnering with mobile wallet providers, the bank has expanded its network into markets where mobile wallets are prevalent, offer solutions that enable corporate and institutional clients to leverage the opportunities presented by mobile money and enable efficient, scalable e-commerce and m-commerce solutions.

“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. This highlights Airtel Africa’s commitment to providing affordable, innovative, best-in-class solutions to enhance the daily lives of our customers,” said Raghunath Mandava, CEO, Airtel Africa.

Mobile banking transfers between Airtel Money and Standard Chartered Bank are now live in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Remaining products will be rolled out later this year subject to regulatory approvals.

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