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Airtel, IFC and MasterCard partners towards mobile money in Zambia

August 20, 2014

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), The MasterCard Foundation and Airtel Zambia signed an advisory services agreement valued at $1 million to expand access to mobile financial services in the Zambian market.

The overall aim of the three-year project is to assist Airtel Money Zambia in building a sustainable mobile money operation, the IFC said. It will provide market research and advisory services on agent network management and business strategy development.

The project is part of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a $37.4 million joint initiative of IFC and The MasterCard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance mobile financial services in Sub Saharan Africa. It is estimated that in Zambia, two-thirds of the adult population does not have access to formal financial services.

"The implementation of mobile financial services has shown to be a successful way of increasing access to finance in several African markets. Kenya's M-Pesa is one of the most well-known mobile money operators in the world and is used by over 70 percent of Kenyan adults. In Tanzania, FinScope data show that the use of mobile money services has helped increase the rate of financial inclusion from 15.8 percent to 57.4 percent in just four years," Brenda Thole, Airtel Money Director Zambia, said.

Greta Bull, IFC program manager for the Partnership for Financial inclusion, noted that "Mobile phone usage is very high in Zambia, making it an ideal market in which to leverage technology to reach those who have previously been excluded from formal financial services. Financial inclusion is an important tool in promoting inclusive economic growth that can have significant impact on livelihoods."

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Source: CPI Financial

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