By Telecom Lead Team: Wireless services major Airtel
Nigeria is partnering First Bank to promote mobile banking services.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has started a campaign
to discourage the movement of large amount of the currencies which has been the
norm in the country.
Airtel and First Bank signed an agreement to combine
their strengths to provide convenient and user-friendly mobile banking services
to unbanked people via mobile phones.
Airtel said that mobile banking is the use of mobile
phones to remotely access bank accounts, primarily for account inquiry, mobile
transfer, retail payments, micro insurance, savings remittances, mobile top-up,
utility bill payments and government collections, among others.
Indeed, we are excited to partner with one of the
biggest financial institutions in the country. This partnership will, without a
doubt, assist us in realising our vision of empowering more Nigerians with
innovative and affordable mobile financial services,” said Rajan Swaroop, chief
executive officer and managing director, Airtel Nigeria.
With over 600 branches and thousands of business partner
outlets in strategic proximity to the people, coupled with over 1,500 ATMs
including cash deposit ATMs, cardless and biometric ATMs, over 5 million active
accounts and more than 1,200 Point of Sale terminals, First Bank has always
been at the forefront of innovative financial services solutions,” said Bisi
Onasanya, managing director, First Bank.
Airtel announced the investment of $600 million in
Nigeria’s mobile market alone in 2010 following its takeover of the country’s
holdings of Kuwaiti-based Zain after closing a $10.7-billion deal, according to
a media report.
The company also invested in rural telephony and
introduced a corporate social responsibility programs that include setting up
of schools that offer free quality education to underprivileged children in