MTN Group, Airtel join hands for international money transfer

MTN Group and Bharti Airtel have entered into a cross-border remittance partnership for transferring money between Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso for both the operators' customers on either side of the border.

The partnership will enable MTN Ivory Coast Mobile Money customers and Airtel customers in Burkina Faso to transfer money between the neighbouring countries. Until now, moving money between the two countries was mired by high fees, high usage of informal channels and a lack of proximity to withdraw money.

MTN and Airtel already have extensive Mobile Money service opertaions in their respective areas of operations, and connecting their operations through remittance services appears a logical next step.

''MTN has reached a great level of adoption of Mobile Money in Ivory Coast, and Airtel has done the same in Burkina Faso. With a sizeable community of Burkinabe working in Ivory Coast and sending money back to their home country, the partnership will greatly enhance the Mobile Money service for customers in both countries,'' said Pieter Verkade, MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer.

''MTN brings the same added value to international transfers that we offer in local transfers; reliable, instant, affordable and proximity with customer through our distribution network,'' says Pieter Verkade, MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer,'' Verkade added.

MTN Mobile Money enables users to make local and international money transfers, make utility and other service payments, purchase airtime and access range of mobile financial products. As of December 31, 2013, MTN Mobile Money had 14.8 million registered users, and was available in 14 countries.

''This partnership between Airtel and MTN is quite symbolic; the first time that two leading providers of mobile money services are cooperating to offer a service. Secondly, this is the first cross-border mobile to mobile remittance service in West Africa and it has been designed to eliminate current pains associated with remitting funds between both countries while offering best in class security that protects the ''sweat'' of hard working Burkinabes that want to remit funds back home to their loved ones'' said Chidi Okpala, Airtel Africa group director for Airtel Money.