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Western Union, Bharti Airtel to launch cross-border payment in Africa

The real-time cross-border payment service will drive financial inclusion across the continent

Western Union has partnered with Airtel Payments Bank and Airtel Africa to launch a real-time cross-border payment service for Airtel customers in India and Africa, the media reports said. This in turn is expected to boost financial inclusion in both countries. 

Airtel Payments Bank and Airtel Africa are subsidiaries of Bharti Airtel. The new real-time payment service will have millions of Airtel Payments Bank accounts in India and mobile wallet offering across 14 African countries. 

Western Union and Bharti Airtel’s combined service is expected to launch this year. 

Western Union’s partnership with Airtel Payments Bank in India will ensure seamless money transfers in the country. Likewise, its partnership with Airtel Africa will allow more than 15 million Airtel Money mobile wallet users in Nigeria, Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Congo, Niger, Tchad, Rwanda and Seychelles, to accept overseas money transfers without any hassle.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, said in a statement, “This partnership will give our customers the convenience and security of directly receiving and sending remittances from their Airtel mobile money wallets. They will now be automatically credited and debited via their Airtel mobile money wallets on their phone and can immediately access the funds to pay bills or merchants and transfer funds to family and friends or convert to cash from the widespread Airtel Money agents, kiosks and branches.”

Airtel Payments Bank has established more than 500,000 banking points across India. Airtel Africa is a leading telecom and mobile money services provider across 14 African countries. 

Currently, Western Union has its presence in more than 100 countries, with 40 banking and payment partnerships. 

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