A major new financial collaboration is set to provide Chad with its first mobile commerce services. Leading African bank Ecobank is partnering with Airtel Chad for the launch of Airtel Money. The service will allow subscribers to carry out financial transactions on their mobile phones and enhance the delivery of financial services at affordable costs.
In many developing regions, including Africa, the availability of formal financial services remains the prerogative of a privileged few, sometimes leaving the majority of the population with informal, expensive and unreliable channels as the only recourse for their transactions. It is in light of this that recent studies have suggested that the total value of mobile money transfers in Africa is expected to exceed USD 200 billion in 2015 due to the growing confidence of users in the system, coupled with a wide range of services on offer.
Major players in the market, especially banks and mobile operators, have expressed an interest to fill this much needed gap. Airtel has been rolling out its m-commerce service across Africa to current and potential customers, enabling various modes of financial transactions on mobile phones.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Mr. Salia Gbane, CEO of Airtel Chad, said: "This service allows customers to send money to their relatives, pay essential bills such as electricity and water, tuition fees, bookings and even buy groceries without having to carry cash. The phone essentially becomes an electronic wallet.”
He added "This partnership clearly demonstrates the revolutionary role that mobile communications can play in improving the living conditions of the communities that we serve". Transactions will be very simple and completely secure. All the customer needs is a mobile phone and a personal password whenever they want to complete a transaction.