Africell

Africell puts mobile money at the centre of growth strategy

08 September 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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Africell is to expand AfriMoney as the firm’s CEO unveiled a new growth strategy that will take the operator into new markets.

AfriMoney, formerly known as Africell Money, relaunched on Comviva, a faster and more secure platform on 7 September, offering a "wider array of services" intended to support Africell’s growth ambitions.

These will include international remittance, PayGo services such as home solar, merchant payments, integrations with local banks and other bill payment providers.

These services will be increasingly available due to the expanded agent network, and customers will be able to take advantage of exclusive offers on airtime, data and other services, only available through AfriMoney.

Over the next two months services will be introduced in the operator's key markets of Uganda, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and DRC where Africell current counts 12 million customers. Services will be expanded to Angola in due course.

On the technical side, future initiatives will include the adoption of GSMA’s Mobile Money APIs, developer bootcamps, and incubating local start-ups.

Andy Widmann, head of AfriMoney at Africell Group, explained: “AfriMoney’s migration to Comviva is a first step in our commitment to expanding our mobile money offering and the further development of the fintech ecosystem in our markets.

“Through the launch of Comviva and the planned initiatives such as the release of a developer portal and sandbox, the adoption of the GSMA’s Mobile Money APIs, hosting developer bootcamps, and incubating local start-ups, AfriMoney will become a platform on which partners can easily integrate to offer new innovative products and services to the previously underserved, while fostering the development the local tech communities in our markets.”

Africell said “significant” investment had gone into the roll out.

The news followed the completion of Africell’s strategic reorganisation in March this year, which involved the opening of a new London head office and the incorporation of Africell’s US-owned parent company.

Ziad Dalloul, CEO and chairman of Africell Group, said: “Mobile money is integral to Africell’s growth strategy, which is why we will be rolling out our expanded AfriMoney service. Our customers will be able to enjoy an extended, faster and more secure experience.

He continued: “The move is part of our commitment to supporting the development of our communities by investing in technology and services that help address key social and economic issues.”

The strategy follows in the footsteps of Orange and Airtel Africa,  which have both seen success with their mobile money apps and services. 

Orange's telco-pioneered fintech solution debuted in 2013 with the launch of mobile-to-mobile international money transfers between Mali, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. In May, Burkina Faso and Morocco were added to the list of countries Orange France customers can send direct financial transfers to, joining Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Mali.

Meanwhile, Airtel Money represents 9% of the group’s gross revenues.