Stanchart, Airtel launch new payment channel

Airtel Ghana has expanded coverage of its mobile wallet service as it partners Standard Chartered Bank, through the Airtel Money platform, to launch Straight2Bank Wallet onto the Ghanaian market.

The Straight2Bank Wallet enables corporations, governments and development organisations to make cashless payments to both banked and unbanked individuals.

Particularly relevant in emerging markets with large rural areas, mobile wallets provide an efficient and secure alternative to onerous and risk-prone cash payments.

The new payment channel, would enable Standard Chartered’s corporate clients in Ghana to use the bank’s Straight2Bank electronic banking platform to make payments directly into an individual’s Airtel Money mobile wallet.

This will enable clients to effectively reach out to their beneficiaries with timely payments, while mitigating the risks of fraud and theft associated with cash payments.

Speaking at the lunch, Lucy Quist, Managing Director, Airtel Ghana, said the Airtel Money Wallet serves to extend the reach of the Straight2Bank Wallet service to mobile phones, thus providing a seamless, safe and instant extension of making single and multiple payments to employees or suppliers in a single batch.

“We, at Airtel Ghana, are very excited about the service and the partnership with Standard Chartered Bank. As technology and financial services continue to merge we have no doubt that this partnership will be a great step towards achieving Ghana’s goal of attaining a cashless economy.”

Kweku Bedu-Addo, Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Bank remarked: “In partnership with Airtel, we are proud to be the first bank to introduce mobile wallet services to Ghanaian companies. Mobile wallets not only bring operational and cost efficiencies to our clients, but also mean individuals receive their funds through secure channels — another way we are supporting Ghana’s central bank to foster a cash-lite economy.”

Philip Panaino, Head of Transaction Banking Africa said, Ghana is the fifth African market to enjoy the benefits of Straight2Bank Wallet within the bank’s global roll-out strategy, adding that, “Since its introduction, we have seen a steady increase in the volume of transactions processed via Straight2Bank Wallet, demonstrating the ease and convenience this product brings for our corporate clients, and reiterating our promise to be here for good.”

To date Standard Chartered has delivered the benefits of Straight2Bank mobile wallets to corporates in 10 markets within the bank’s global footprint, namely Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Airtel Money is an innovative, safe and secure mobile wallet which enables a complete suite of services like money transfer, bill payments and recharge on the move from a mobile phone. It caters to all segments of the society, from the unbanked to the under-banked and to the net-savvy and evolved customers.

By Malik Sullemana

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