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Airtel, Barclays launch ‘Wallet to Bank’

AIRTEL Money clients will now be able to transfer money from their mobile accounts to Barclays accounts following the launch of “Wallet to Bank” platform.

The platform was launched at Airtel head office in Lusaka yesterday.

Airtel managing director Apoorva Mehrotra and his Barclays Bank counterpart Mizinga Melu signed the agreement.

In 2017, the two organisations locked hands to launch the Bank to Wallet, which provided an avenue for customers to transfer funds from their accounts to their mobile money wallet, in a move that exemplified how inter-industry technological and digital convergence between financial services providers and MNOs could help drive more financial inclusion and access to the wider population.

Speaking at the event, Mehrotra said his company had come to understand the value of having strategic partnerships and that the signing ceremony was proof of how the corporate world was creating synergies to identify more innovative approaches and solutions for the benefit of the unbanked.

“Airtel can today attest to the fact that many of the partnerships that we have created over time have helped us to identify more innovative approaches and solutions for the wider community and it is for this reason that today is indeed another exciting day when technology interlinks with the financial sector, thus bringing to the fore digital financial services,” Mehrotra said.

“In this day where almost every person has a mobile phone, there is a huge potential for us to leverage on digital technologies and reach the informal sector, especially those living and working in the rural areas. It is a fact that more and more of our customers now depend on their mobile phones to make various transactions, be it to pay bills, buy air time, pay for services rendered or paying for their domestic taxes.”

And Melu said the partnership with Airtel amplifies Barclays’ commitment to being a digitally-led organisation focused on accelerating financial inclusion.

“Barclays Zambia has continued to invest in technology and with more than K45 million committed over the last three years. This partnership with Airtel cannot be underscored as it will enable us reach more people, particularly the unbanked where we have no presence as a bank. As we make the critical transition to ABSA, we remain committed to ensuring that our customers and stakeholders enjoy convenient and easy to use banking solutions,” added Melu.

The agreement completes the full payment cycle, with customers having the capability to send money directly from their Airtel Money wallet to their Barclays Bank account and vice versa.

The partnership is meant to supplement government’s efforts as prescribed in the 2017 to 2022 National Financial Inclusion Strategy to improve physical access to high-quality financial delivery channels which include bank branches, agents, ATMs, and mobile phones as the percentage of adults using an electronic payment instrument is expected to grow from 37 per cent to 55 per cent by 2022.

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