AFRICA – Airtel Africa has appointed Network International (Network), the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), as its payment processor.

This collaboration will drive Airtel’s continued provision of cutting-edge mobile services across the continent and beyond. 

By partnering with Network International, Airtel Africa will be well-equipped to navigate the dynamic landscape of digital finance, drive innovation, and deliver unparalleled value to its users and stakeholders.

Network International’s proven track record and deep understanding of the African market will allow us to innovate and scale our services more effectively,” said Ian Ferrao, Group CEO, Airtel Money.

“Together, we will empower our users with seamless and secure payment solutions, fostering economic growth and inclusion in the communities we serve.” 

Network International’s expertise spans 50 countries, including 40 in Africa. It serves over 200 financial institutions and facilitates more than 1.6 billion transactions. Its in-depth knowledge of the African market makes it an ideal partner for Airtel Africa. 

Network International will roll out its services in key Airtel Africa markets, covering card issuance products and providing technical support. 

This includes a comprehensive range of services such as transaction processing, card hosting and management, online fraud prevention, internal reconciliation and settlement, and online access for Airtel users.

This solution will offer Airtel Africa’s users the convenience and ease of accessing a wide range of conventional mobile services and new digital payment services, all through a smooth and elevated customer experience.

Our collaboration with Airtel marks a major milestone for our outsourced payments services in Africa,” Dr. Reda Helal, Group Managing Director – Processing, Africa and Co-Head Group Processing at Network International, said.

It demonstrates our ability to successfully serve Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) via our fully-fledged processing solutions and our continued dedication and commitment to the African region. We are excited to support Airtel’s growth strategy and business development plans for the entire continent.”

In May this year, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced that it was in discussion to loan Airtel Africa US$200 million to fill the operator’s coffers to fund network expansion in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Kenya. 

IFC stated that capex would involve modernizing Airtel Africa’s network by purchasing active equipment on site for 4G, such as antennas, software updates, packet score, base transceiver stations, and the acquisition of fiber capacity. The money will also be used to refinance USD-heavy debt. 

This will be the IFC’s second investment in Airtel Africa. The first was in 2022 for an undisclosed amount to expand networks in seven African countries. Over the two years since the cash injection, the environmental and social performance of this investment was noted as satisfactory. 

Airtel Africa has been making moves to expand its network to support the growing demand for connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Liked this article? Subscribe to DealStreet Africa News, our regular email newsletter with the latest news, deals and insights from Africa’s business, economy, and moreSUBSCRIBE HERE