Even though Africa is experiencing an economic boom at the moment, the infrastructure in the vast majority of the continent is still very poor. The roads, electrical grid, telecommunications, financial institutions, and water supply still need major improvements in order to bring the standards up to par with other regions of the world. Most of these problems require long-term investments, but information and communications technology (ICT) is making it possible to introduce solutions that can expedite some of the continent's needs. Mobile technology has made it possible to deliver financial solutions to many countries in Africa with very limited banking infrastructure, and the new VeriFone Mobile Money and Airtel (News - Alert) Africa Group agreement is going to deliver more services for merchants across the continent.
The agreement between the two companies is going to offer VeriFone Mobile Money's merchant enablement applications for VeriFone Mobile Money's Tap n Pay applications. This will allow merchants to accept payments from their customers using their mobile device so they can pay, buy, bank, bill and remit money with a smart, secure and fast platform at the point of sale.
Considering the lack of infrastructure in Africa, it has one of the most evolved mobile money systems in the world, which according to Chris Jones, VeriFone Mobile Money's CEO, there are more than 42 million people actively using mobile money services and over 520,000 registered mobile many agents. This along with the low number of Africans holding bank accounts has led the company to be very optimistic about the future of mobile financial services.
"We are excited to partner closely with Airtel Africa Group to design a unique offering to drive Africa's mobile money evolution. The partnership will enable our teams to work together with banks, insurance and transport companies to expand access to mobile financial tools and services for Airtel Money customers," said Mr. Jones.
The integration of VeriFone's suite of financial solutions will give agents at the point of sale a compact payment device with a wide range of payment options including NFC, mobile wallets, EMV, and contactless payments as well as biometrics for international remittance to Airtel Money customers.
Airtel has operations across Africa in: Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
"Using their Airtel Money Wallet with VeriFone's contactless / NFC point of sale terminals our customers will have a more convenient, fast and secure way to make multiple payment transactions utilizing Tap n Pay. With this solution, we will be at the forefront of efforts to transform payments systems within the public mass transit and retail sectors in Africa," said Chidi Okpala, director & head of Airtel Money – Africa.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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