MoneyGram Deepens African Presence with Airtel Partnership

The company will facilitate international transfers for 19 million Airtel Money customers.

MoneyGram, a major global remittance company, has partnered with Airtel Africa to facilitate the international transfers directly to the telecom operator’s payments application.

Announced on Friday, this partnership will affect 19 million users of Airtel Money, one of the widely used mobile payment applications in the continent.

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“This partnership with Airtel will enable millions of consumers instant access to our global platform to receive money from over 200 countries & territories without having to even step outside,” John Gely, Head of MoneyGram Africa.

While this strategic partnership will ensure instant money transfers on the mobile as well as strengthen MoneyGram’s presence in the continent. 

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“We’re excited about how this customer-centric partnership with Airtel will expand our mobile wallet capabilities, build upon our strong momentum in Africa, and further accelerate our digital growth across the globe,” Gely added.

Adopting Blockchain

Meanwhile, MoneyGram is betting big on decentralized technology to make the cross-border transfer fast and efficient. The company received a significant investment from blockchain payments company, Ripple, which now holds around 10 percent of MoneyGram’s common stocks.

Earlier this year, remittance Western Union also approached MoneyGram with a takeover deal, but that has not seen any light yet.

“We are delighted to work with MoneyGram to provide millions of customers with fast, secure, and convenient options to receive and send money as well as access their funds from a vast distribution of exclusive kiosks, agents and branches at their convenience,” Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said.

“This is a significant step forward in our ambition to transform lives through greater financial inclusion and empowerment across the continent. Maximizing access to global remittances is a key part of this – even more so given the disruption and economic hardship faced by many because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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