Shell-branded fuels and lubricants distributor Vivo Energy and Airtel Money have partnered in 16 African markets in an African-wide agreement meant to strengthen both companies' footprint.
Vivo Energy will be hoping to gain from Airtel's footprint in the region that has over 27 million registered users and over 250,000 registered users while the telecom will have a platform to operate from in Vivo's 1430 shell branded service stations in 15 countries.
According to the agreement, Shell and Airtel shall collaborate in usage of Shell service stations as Cash In and Cash Out points for Airtel Money customers, Airtel Money will be an accepted mode of payment in all Shell Service Stations and Shell service stations will stock and sell Airtel airtime.
Shell shall also provide float to Airtel money agents in Uganda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Kenya that have been earmarked among the starting points.
Executive VP at Vivo Energy in charge of supply and marketing David Mureithi said the partnership is part of the company's strategy to offer innovative solutions to its customers and taking advantage of the growing number of people using mobile banking in the region.
"Mobile Money services have gained momentum in a number of countries across the continent, led by operators, like Airtel, looking to add to their portfolio value-added services. These initiatives fit in our overall strategy of offering innovating solutions to our customers and develop lasting relationship with them. Through this alliance with Airtel, we want to expand the range of services we offer to our customers and also allow them to pay in a simple and easy way on our retail sites," said Mureithi.
Airtel Africa on its part says the collaboration will provide the company with much needed outlets for customers to acquire Airtel money services as well as for agents to acquire float easily.
"This partnership provides our customers with additional outlets where they can deposit and withdraw cash, as well as make purchases for fuel and other services at Shell service stations with Airtel Money. The partnership will bring Airtel Money closer to arm's length for customers who visit the very conveniently located Shell branded outlets every day," said Africa head of Airtel Money, Chidi Okpala.