NIGERIA – Ecobank Plc has signed a cross-border remittance agreement with Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform that aims to bring more inclusive financial services by providing a convenient way for workers to transfer money back home.

According to a statement from the Pan-African bank, the partnership will facilitate instant transfers from its remittance solution, Rapidtransfer, to users of Alipay.

Alipay serves more than 1.2 billion people globally together with its local e-wallet partners.

The partnership thus provides Ecobank an additional channel option which will increase options  available to users, help lower transaction costs and enhance the quality of service in the market.

 “Rapidtransfer, has over the years been delivering transparent, convenient, and affordable services to the African diaspora and their African-based dependants,” said Nana Abban, the Group Consumer Banking Head, Nana Abban.

“Through  our partnership with Alipay, we are further leveraging the scale and capacity of our unified payment ecosystem on the global stage.”

Abban further noted that the solution would be rolled out across our entire footprint, subject to required local approvals.

“We are excited to partner with Ecobank and use our technology to bring fast, affordable  and convenient remittance services to more users globally, especially workers who are living far from home,”  said Alipay’s Head of Global Remittance Business, Ma Zhiguo.

The agreement follows a recent partnership between Airtel Africa and Ecobank that 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.

According to a statement obtained from the Nigerian stock Exchange, the partnership, which is subject to regulatory approval in each market, will enable Airtel Money customers, through Ecobank’s digital financial services ecosystem, to make online deposits and withdrawals.

Airtel customers will also be able effect real time domestic and international money transfers, make in-store merchant payments, and access loans and savings products among 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.