Telecommunication Company Airtel Africa and Ecobank have reached an agreement to offer loans to Airtel customers. This partnership is not the first of its kind as Diamond Bank (now Access Bank) and MTN Nigeria are also into partnership.

The partnership will see Ecobank Transnational Incorporation (ETI) financing Airtel’s mobile money service called Airtel Money after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approved the operation of the telecoms firm as a mobile money operator

The aim of the partnership is to create more access to funds for those in need of capital. Aside access to funds, it will also enable customers perform other mobile transactions between them, including product savings, international and domestic transfers.

The partnership will also see Ecobank account holders make bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into Airtel Money customer wallets. Also, virtual, physical debit and pre-paid cards to Airtel Money customers by Ecobank.

The Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, spoke on the partnership. He said, “This partnership is a further demonstration of Airtel Africa’s commitment to provide affordable, simple and innovative solutions for our customers across Africa. We will continue to offer locally relevant M-Commerce solutions with partners like Ecobank in order to enhance the daily lives of our customers.”

Ade Ayeyemi who is the CEO of the bank also spoke, he said, “We believe that financial inclusion can ultimately contribute to economic development, collaborating with major telecommunications providers in Africa is therefore a key strategic driver towards closing the gap between the banked and the unbanked.

“Hence, this partnership with Airtel Africa which makes Ecobank financial services available to any Airtel line registered on Airtel Money. In our markets where regulatory approvals are in place. This potential exensive reach will further provide convenience to customers, intra-country and particularly for cross-border transactions and remittances across Africa.” he concluded.