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Airtel, Western Union team up to launch real-time cross-border money movements in India, Africa

Western Union has teamed up with two Bharti Airtel arms -- Airtel Payments Bank and Airtel Africa Plc -- to launch real-time payments shortly into millions of Airtel Payments Bank accounts in India and mobile wallets across 14 countries in Africa. The service launch is expected in the course of calender 2020, Airtel said.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2020, 04.32 PM IST
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KOLKATA: Bharti Airtel has partnered with Western Union, a leading global money transfer company, to shortly launch real-time cross-border money movement and, in turn, drive financial inclusion and economic growth across India and Africa.

Western Union has teamed up with two Bharti Airtel arms -- Airtel Payments Bank and Airtel Africa Plc -- to launch real-time payments shortly into millions of Airtel Payments Bank accounts in India and mobile wallets across 14 countries in Africa. The service launch is expected in the course of calender 2020, Airtel said.

Bharti Airtel’s payments banking arm has millions of customers and over 500K banking points across India while Airtel Africa plc, is a leading provider of telecom and mobile money services across 14 African markets.

“Collaborating with Western Union on these two flagship initiatives in both India and Africa reflects Airtel’s keen commitment to transform the quality of lives of millions of people across emerging and developing markets, providing connectivity and digital empowerment,” Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal, said in a media statement Wednesday.

Airtel, he said, is “delighted to contribute to the development of a sound and inclusive payments ecosystem in emerging markets to spur financial inclusion and economic growth”.

"Our platform offers multiple channel choice for our customers and customers of our partners, including banks, FIs, telecom and fintech players…we applaud Airtel for their global vision of anticipating and leading change in the global digital landscape,” Western Union President & CEO Hikmet Ersek said.

Once the services are operational, Airtel Payments Bank customers will be able to direct a Western Union money transfer into their bank accounts 24/7 via their app in real-time. Global senders, in turn, can use Western Union’s digital services in 75 countries plus territories, or the walk-in Agent network across more than 200 countries and territories.

The collaboration with Airtel Africa will enable more than 15 million Airtel Money mobile wallet users in Nigeria, Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, DRC, Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Congo, Niger, Tchad, Rwanda and Seychelles to simply route any money transfer received from across the world into their wallets. It will also allow senders worldwide to push funds directly into an Airtel Money mobile wallet in real-time and store value or pay for goods and services.

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