Airtel Kenya is betting on a partnership with United Bank of Africa (UBA Bank) to grow its Airtel Money services by offering financial transactions through mobile.
The two will provide a virtual savings account rivalling Safaricom’s M-Shwari but dubbed ‘Akiba Mkononi’ to all Airtel customers. Subscribers will also transact using mobile from their bank accounts.
‘Akiba Mkononi’ will enable Airtel money customers to save money from their mobile wallets to savings accounts in UBA bank. The bank has placed an interest rate of 7 per cent per annum on the savings.
“The customers taking up this product will enjoy the convenience to use the Airtel Money PESA card that continues to enhance their experience and convenience on Airtel Money and ensure that they get added value,” said Airtel CEO Adil El Youssefi.
The savings scheme enables customers product enables customer to save from as low as Sh5 to as much as Sh140,000 daily. To access the services one needs to dial *368# from their Airtel numbers.
Users will also be able to transfer funds from UBA to Airtel Money and vice versa, make quick airtime purchases, view account statements and account balance enquiry.
There are also plans to launch Airtel Money PESA Card, an UBA Bank debit- VISA card in the near future, to allow Airtel money users to withdraw money from their Airtel Money accounts from over two million Visa and Kenswitch ATMs worldwide.
The cards will also allow customers to shop and pay for goods and services using Airtel Money at tens of millions of Visa accepted merchants worldwide.
UBA Kenya Bank Ltd Managing Director and chief executive Isaac Mwige said, “We all want safe, easy and convenient access to our money wherever we are and as such we must innovate past the notion of branches and traditional banking practices.”
Safaricom has a similar arrangement with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) through M-Shwari. The service has been thriving and deposits hit Sh24 billion after only a year of launch.