AFRICA – Airtel Africa, a leading global telecommunications services provider, and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent company of Ecobank banking group, have signed a partnership which will allow millions of Airtel Money and Ecobank customers across Africa to improve their access to mobile financial services and carry out a variety of mobile transactions.

This partnership, which is subject to regulatory approval in each market, will enable Airtel Money customers, through Ecobank’s digital financial services ecosystem.

They will be able make online deposits and withdrawals, effect real time domestic and international money transfers, make in-store merchant payments, and access loans and savings products amongst others.

The partnership will also allow Ecobank corporate account holders to make bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into Airtel Money customer wallets.

Additionally, Ecobank will be able to sponsor Airtel Money to issue both virtual and physical debit and pre-paid cards to Airtel Money customers.

Airtel Africa CEO, Raghunath Mandava, said; “This partnership is a further demonstration of Airtel Africa’s commitment to provide affordable, simple and innovative solutions for our consumers across Africa.

“We will continue to offer locally relevant M-Commerce solutions with partners like Ecobank in order to enhance the daily lives of our customers,”

According to Ecobank Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi, the partnership will make Ecobank financial services available to any Airtel line registered on Airtel Money, in all its markets where regulatory approvals are in place.

“This potential extensive reach will further provide convenience to customers, intra-country and particularly for cross-border transactions and remittances across Africa,” he added.

Airtel has presence in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa. It offers an integrated suite of telecommunications solutions to its subscribers, including mobile voice and data services as well as mobile money services both nationally and internationally.

Ecobank currently has banking subsidiaries in 33 African countries. The Group is owned by more than 600,000 local and international institutional and individual shareholders. It employs over 16,000 people in 40 different countries.

It provides consumer, commercial banking, corporate and investment banking, and securities, wealth and asset management to about 20 million customers.

The customers range from individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, regional and multinational corporations, financial institutions, international organisations and governments via over 800 branches and offices, 2,000 ATMs, the internet and mobile banking