Visa Collaborates with Airtel in Pan-Africa Payment Services

Visa Inc. and Bharti Airtel are poised to introduce innovative mobile payment services in Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles and Tanzania.

In a statement, they said they would build on the existing capabilities of Airtel’s Mobile Money service, which allows subscribers to use their Airtel Money account to pay in stores and online wherever Visa is accepted.

Additionally, customers can withdraw money and make payments from their Airtel Money account using their Airtel Money Visa companion card.

“Mobile payments can transform the lives of people throughout Africa who commonly have access to a mo-bile phone, but not a bank. For most new subscribers, this will represent their first payment account and bring some of the latest digital payment advancements into the everyday experiences of Airtel’s customers,” Vish Sowani, Vice President, MNO Partnerships for Visa said.

They explained that aside everyday Visa transactions in stores, online and at ATMs, Airtel Money can also be used to make micro-payments, conduct fund transfers, purchase airtime and pre-paid electricity, plus Internet bundles – using an easy, safe mobile experience. For example, a bill can be paid without having to travel, wait in long lines, or hold large sums of cash.

“We are excited to embark on the next phase of development for Airtel Money with our new partner Visa,” said Chidi Okpala, Director and Head of Airtel Money Africa. “We can look forward to further empowering our Airtel Money customers with access to retail, ATM and online payments using only their Airtel Mobile Phone and companion card to manage all their mobile payment needs.”

Visa and Airtel have already launched an Airtel Money Visa Card in Kenya and will roll out services in other markets starting in early 2015.


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