Bharti Airtel, MTN in mobile money service in West Africa

APRIL 08,2014.


Bharti Airtel Tuesday announced a cross-border remittance partnership with South Africa's MTN Group to facilitate mobile money transfer between the two West African countries of Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.

"The landmark partnership will enable Mobile Money customers of MTN Ivory Coast and Airtel in Burkina Faso to easily transfer money between the neighbouring countries," Bharti Airtel said here in a release.

"Until now, moving money between the two countries was mired by high fees, high usage of informal channels and a lack of proximity to withdraw money," it added.

Pointing to this first cross-border mobile to mobile remittance service in West Africa, Airtel Money director Chidi Okpala said it was "the first time that two leading providers of mobile money services are cooperating to offer a service".

"With a sizeable community of Burkinabe working in Ivory Coast and sending money back to their home country, the partnership will greatly enhance the Mobile Money service for customers in both countries," said Pieter Verkade, chief commercial officer, MTN Group.

MTN's mobile money service has nearly 15 million registered users spread over 14 countries, the statement said. 

The Central Bank of West African States has supported in enabling the service.