Firms team up to offer airtel customers mobile card payments

Feb 03, 2011

A new partnership between airtel Africa, MasterCard Worldwide and Standard Chartered Bank means customers with the mobile phone network will soon be able to make card purchases using their handset.

The three firms have teamed up to launch the airtel 1time Shopping Card, which is located in a virtual wallet accessed through a cellular phone.

It is to be introduced in Kenya in the near future and will then be rolled out across other African markets, once it has won regulatory approval.

Chief Executive Officer of airtel Africa Manoj Kohli said the new offering "is proof that airtel will deliver innovative and relevant mobile solutions that will help customers overcome the daily challenges in their lives".

TS Anil, Global Head for Cards and Personal Loans at Standard Chartered, added the service "should fundamentally change the payments industry".

The mobile phone network currently operates in 16 African countries. Its parent company Bharti Airtel had over 200 million subscribers as of November 2010, 50 million of which were located in Africa.