Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


African operators, banks collaborate on mobile money

Article Image
Africa is seeing more collaborations between telcos and banks when it comes to mobile money and mobile financial services.

In the last week there have been two new deals announced, one between Airtel Money and Standard Chartered, the other between MTN and Ecobank in Liberia.

Standard Chartered Bank and Airtel Africa announced a strategic collaboration to drive financial inclusion across key markets in Africa and said they will work together to create new, innovative products aimed at enhancing the accessibility of financial services in the region.

Airtel Money's customers will now be able to make real-time online deposits and withdrawals from Standard Chartered bank accounts, receive international money transfers directly to their wallets and access savings products. Standard Chartered's corporate clients will also be able to make rapid and secure bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into Airtel Money customer wallets.

The groups said that mobile banking transfers between Airtel Money and Standard Chartered are now live in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, with more products expected to be rolled out later this year.

Almost $2 billion was processed in mobile money transactions per day in 2019.
Almost $2 billion was processed in mobile money transactions per day in 2019.

Mobile money is big business in Africa: According to the GSMA's 2019 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, Sub-Saharan Africa added 50 million new mobile money accounts in 2019. The region remains at the epicenter of the mobile money global movement and mobile payment options have become even more important since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Last year the industry met a new milestone of over 1 billion global mobile money accounts and the sector processed almost $2 billion in transactions per day in 2019, with annual transactions expected to surpass $1 trillion dollars by 2023.

Standard Chartered regional CEO for Africa and the Middle East, Sunil Kaushal, said that the Airtel deal is helping the bank accelerate its mobile and digital-led strategy in Africa.

"Over the past year, Standard Chartered has rapidly launched digital banks across nine countries on the continent, allowing our customers to enjoy seamless services from the safety of their homes even during the peak of the pandemic. This partnership will further enhance the ability of our customers to manage and move money safely and securely and create market-leading financial solutions across countries," Kaushal added.

Airtel Africa's CEO, Raghunath Mandava, said the partnership supports the operator's efforts to expand the range and depth of its Airtel Money offerings across its 19 million strong customer base.

"Our relationship with Standard Chartered boosts financial inclusion across the continent, giving millions of people access to valuable banking services. We continue to invest heavily in cashing in and cashing out locations for our customers and increase our distribution," he said.

MTN Liberia and Ecobank team up
In the same week, MTN Liberia said in a statement that its Mobile Money (MoMo) users can now transfer money from Ecobank accounts directly to their MoMo accounts and vice versa due to a new integration between the two companies' systems.

MTN Liberia's Mobile Money acting GM, Christopher Ssali, called the deal a milestone for the telco.

"This service offers convenience and control for MoMo customers who bank with Ecobank. They can now easily and safely transfer money between their MoMo wallets and bank accounts as and when they need it without having to endure long banking queues," Ssali said.

"This is an innovation that positions both Ecobank and MTN as pioneers within Liberia's digital finance space. As a bank we will continue to employ and leverage technology with key stakeholders across Liberia, to provide exciting financial products to all," added Ecobank Liberia MD George Mensah–Asante.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: South Africa's Zoie Health

This month's hot startup is South African digital women's health clinic Zoie Health – a digital app that focuses on family planning, fertility and maternity care.


Orange Côte d'Ivoire launches 5G lab in Abidjan

Pan-African telecoms operator, Orange, has launched a 5G lab in Côte d'Ivoire in anticipation of its 5G network rollout in 2023.

More Innovation hub

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives


Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.


Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up