Airtel Introduces First Mobile Commerce Service in Burkina Faso
• A first in Burkina Faso, this facility enables consumers top up air time on their phones directly
• Retailers to benefit through additional revenue, creation of employment and new business opportunities
• Significant benefits for Burkina Faso’s informal ecosystem
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina-Faso, July 18, 2012/ — Airtel Burkina Faso (http://www.airtel.com), the largest mobile company in the country, has launched its mobile money platform named Airtel Money, or m-ligdi, in partnership with Ecobank. The platform allows consumers to top up their phones with air time, send and receive money, pay their critical utility bills, access their bank accounts.
The press conference for the launch took place in Ouagadougou and was attended by the Minister of Transport, Post and the Digital Economy, the Minister of Economy and Finance, the national Director of the Central Bank of West Africa States, the CEO of the Regulatory Authority and the managing directors of Airtel Burkina Faso and Ecobank.
In many developing regions, including Africa, the availability of formal financial services is limited to certain geographic and income ranges, often leaving the majority of the population to rely on unreliable and costly informal channels for their financial transactions. Against this backdrop, the total value of mobile money transfers in Africa is estimated to exceed US$200 billion in 2015 due to users’ growing trust in the system and the growing range of services provided. Key market players, banks and mobile operators in particular, are keen to address this opportunity.
Commenting on the launch, John Ndego, Airtel Managing Director said: “Today is a very important day for us as we introduce Airtel Money in Burkina Faso to address this much needed gap by providing access to banking services, initially through money transfers and purchase of goods and services through electronic payments.”
He continued “On a day to day basis with Airtel Money, you no longer have to carry cash. All you need is your mobile telephone. This service allows customers to send money to loved ones, pay essential utility bills such as electricity or water, settle grocery bills in the supermarket and even top up your phone with airtime.”
According to Cheikh Travaly, Director of Ecobank, “Everything is done to fully support the efforts of Airtel SA Burkina Faso in order to improve the lives of our people with this new electronic payment service. Ecobank will support Airtel to ensure that the product being launched is efficient and secure. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this great service. “
“I would therefore like to congratulate Airtel for launching this service and I am sure it will be highly appreciated by many in Burkina Faso. The service will extend the financial inclusion program launched by Ecobank in Burkina Faso and will have a tangible positive impact on the community, “he added.
Airtel Money, strengthen its commitment to provide affordable and innovative solutions to all. The platform, allows consumers and communities to take maximum advantage of the mobile commerce reality sweeping through the industry by enabling them to conduct a range of financial transactions quickly and easily.
Aside from the direct transfer of funds from one user to another, Airtel Money also simplifies the lives of its customers by allowing them to conduct a range of other financial transactions using their handsets such as bill payments, top ups and mobile banking.
The transactions will be very simple and also completely secure. All a customer needs is a mobile phone and a personal password every time they want to carry out a transaction. To benefit from this service, a simple registration process is required. The customer should be an Airtel Customer, have a valid ID document and fill out a registration form.
Mr. Ndego reiterated Airtel’s commitment to ensure that Airtel Money will be available in all the regions where the network is available. He also encouraged customers to take advantage of this service.
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Bharti Airtel Limited.