Airtel has inked a deal with WorldRemit that will allow its subscribers to receive money from 129 countries, a move aimed at boosting the telco’s efforts to increase its share of the local money market.
The deal announced Wednesday will enable about 400,000 Airtel Money users to receive funds directly and without charges in their mobile wallets and carry out in-app payments for goods and services globally.
Countries covered under the deal with the London-based fintech include the United States of America which is the largest source of diaspora remittances to Kenya, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Australia.
The deal marks Airtel’s push to increase customers on its mobile money platform through accessing new markets to increase its revenues and cut the dominance of Safaricom’s M-Pesa that has 50 million active users across Africa.
“Through this partnership, our customers are assured of seamless services across the globe, without fear of costs. Airtel Money continues to offer fast, secure and affordable services to all Kenyans,” Airtel Kenya Managing Director, Prasanta Das Sarma said.
Airtel has already signed agreements with cash remittance companies MoneyGram and Mukuru.
The telco is seeking to expand subscriber base and use of its mobile money platform through partnerships with multiple financial service firms.
Airtel and Safaricom see mobile money as a growth and diversification opportunity and have invested billions of shillings to develop new offshoots of their platforms’ core offerings of cash transfers and payments.
“Mobile money continues to be one of the Airtel Africa’s fastest-growing business segments, delivering revenue growth of 30.4 percent in first half of the year [ended September],” the multinational said early this year.
“It is an increasingly important part of our business and currently accounts for 10.3 percent of our total revenue in constant currency.”