Pan-African telecommunications and mobile money services company Airtel Africa has announced a deal with African remittance organisation Mukuru.
The partnership will enable Mukuru customers to instantly send cross-border transfers directly to Airtel Money customer wallets in 12 African countries.
Mukuru is one of Africa’s largest remittance organisations, claiming over 30 million cross-border transactions over the last decade.
Airtel points out that this partnership will be particularly beneficial for customers making intra-Africa payments from Southern Africa where Mukuru has a strong presence. Customers will also no longer have to go in person to an agent to receive cross-border payments.
Once Airtel Money customers receive the funds, they can be used to pay utility bills or goods and services, or transferred to family. Alternatively they can be cashed out at any of Airtel Africa’s exclusive branches, kiosks and agents.
The partnership, which is subject to local regulatory approvals, will initially launch in Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It will then roll out to other Airtel Money markets.
This is the latest in a number of agreements focused on the vast intra-African remittance market and, of course, it reduces the need for handling money or dealing with agents at a time when coronavirus has made direct contact with cash or people inadvisable.