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Now, send or receive money overseas without visiting bank; Airtel plans game-changing move

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Bharti Airtel has signed this pact with its African subsidiary. Airtel Africa as well. The move will also benefit 15 million subscribers of Airtel Africa

The consumers of Airtel digital payments bank may soon be able to transfer and receive international money seamlessly without visiting a bank, and simply on their mobile phones, thanks to a pact between Western Union and Bharti Airtel. The much ambitious deal will allow ease of access to 550 million subscribers of Airtel digital payments bank in India. Bharti Airtel has signed this pact with its African subsidiary. Airtel Africa as well. The move will also benefit 15 million subscribers of Airtel Africa in countries namely Nigeria, Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, DRC, Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Congo, Niger, Tchad, Rwanda and Seychelles, the company said in a statement.

Airtel was the first to open a Payments Bank in India, ahead of its popular rival Paytm. Airtel has over five lakh banking points across the country, while Western Union has its digital services in 75 countries plus territories as well as walk-in Agent network across more than 200 countries and territories.

“Collaborating with Western Union on these two flagship initiatives in both India and Africa reflects Bharti Airtel’s keen commitment to transform the quality of lives of millions of people across emerging and developing markets, providing connectivity and digital empowerment. We are delighted to contribute to the development of a sound and inclusive payments ecosystem in emerging markets to spur financial inclusion and economic growth,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel, in the statement.

Mobile phones and mobile-based payment solutions have brought a revolution to the financial inclusion in India. India is likely to have as many as 62.3 crore unique mobile phone users by the year 2025, with 483 million mobile internet users. This will account for 66 per cent penetration of mobile devices in the second-most populous country. On the other hand, there were 39.6 crore registered mobile money accounts in Africa by the end of 2018, representing nearly half of the total global mobile money accounts.

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