Ecobank, MTN collaborate to boost financial inclusion in Africa

MTN Group and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated have come together to provide mobile financial services across the various African countries where they currently operate.

The partnership, which was announced on Tuesday in Lagos, would see MTN and Ecobank work together in delivering a distinct customer experience by providing value-added mobile financial products and services.

The latest development would allow Ecobank and MTN to innovate and enhance access to affordable financial services via MTN Mobile Money and Ecobank banking services.

Commenting on the collaboration, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, was quoted as saying, “Partnerships between banks and mobile money operators are fundamental in the mobile money ecosystem, hence our long-standing partnership with Ecobank in many of our markets aimed at driving financial inclusion.

“We are excited to be taking this partnership to the next level as this latest development will spearhead innovative initiatives, which will deepen financial access on the continent.”

He added that MTN was open to working with other financial institutions in order to bridge the financial divide.

Commenting on the collaboration, the Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank, Ade Ayeyemi, was quoted as saying, “Combining Ecobank’s innovative digital banking range with MTN’s enormous subscriber base means that virtually every African can now have an instant bank account, savings accounts, loans and make instant remittances on their mobile phone.

“Ecobank’s digital strategy has long been committed to providing banking facilities to the mass market. We have already made giant strides in our mission to ensure financial inclusion, and today’s agreement with MTN will greatly accelerate the easy availability of banking facilities to the previously unbanked.”

Although over 80 per cent of Africans have mobile phones, only a quarter (28 per cent) of them have a bank account.

However, mobile banking and e-wallets offer a range of alternative payment methods as well as lending and savings services.

The Financial Inclusion Insights of 2015 also showed that only about two in five Nigerian adults own a financial account while just 12 per cent of Nigerians are aware of mobile money services.

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