Airtel Money launched in Uganda, providing access to over 3,800 locations to the unbanked
31 January 2011… Airtel Uganda has today launched its mobile money platform aptly named Airtel Money. The service provides consumers with convenient access to affordable and innovative financial services through their mobile phones. 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 and withdraw Airtel money across all interswitch ATMs countrywide.
Airtel has partnered with leading international and regional banks to provide customers with access to deposit and withdraw cash, money transfers, banking services and pay bills. These include Standard Chartered Bank, Post Bank, Pride Micro Finance, Centenary Rural Development Bank, Equity Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa, Kenya Commercial Bank, Baroda, Eco Bank and Finance Trust Bank.
Mr. V.G. Somasekhar, Airtel Managing Director who addressed guests at the launch said that: “Mobile commerce has the ability to assist a large segment of the population due to its distribution network. Airtel Money's new platform will provide consumers with a useful offering of products that cuts across Mobile banking including ATM transactions, utility bill payments, Airtime top ups and Money Transfer services” he said.
Somasekhar also noted that the rural populations have inadvertently been left out of the financial system due to cost and distance from urban centres. The Airtel Money Agent network throughout Uganda enables customers to transact money anywhere. There are more than three thousand eight hundred Airtel Money agents, ensuring the widest availability of Airtel Money throughout Uganda.”
Hon. Nyombi Thembo , Minister of State for ICT in his speech stated that, ICTs are increasingly in demand to meet the Millennium Development Goals. In the rural context, ICTs provide enhanced opportunities to generate income and combat poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy. 'We congratulate Airtel and believe that through its Airtel money initiatives, consumers and communities even in the deepest rural areas of Uganda will take maximum advantage and reap the benefits of mobile commerce and other innovative services from Airtel”, he said.
Right Hon. Amama Mbabazi Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda on his part commended Airtel Uganda for partnering with the Government in positively impacting the ICT industry and the country at large. “During their entry into the Ugandan Market, Airtel announced an investment of up to $ 100M into the market and part of this would be allocated towards the provision of innovative Mobile services in Uganda. I am very pleased to see how mobile services are complementing the banking sector”.
“We believe that the Airtel Money services will be a catalyst to support economic activities such as agriculture, mining, fishing and ultimately contribute to the economic growth of our country, especially within the rural sector. ” he concluded.
According to Airtel Uganda's M-commerce National Sales Manager, Mr. Nuhu Kanyike, Airtel Money will be available to all Airtel customers, both Prepaid and Postpaid and registration is free at all Airtel Centers and Airtel Money outlets countrywide