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Huawei, Xpress Money sign Africa mobile money deal

Huawei, Xpress Money sign Africa mobile money deal

Multinational ICT company Huawei has partnered with remittance service Xpress Money to target Africa's unbanked population.

Through the partnership Xpress Money will have access to Huawei's mobile money service platform, reported to facilitate over 100 million mobile money accounts worldwide via their mobile money partners.

David Chen, Director of Marketing & Solution Sales at Huawei in Southern Africa stressed the importance of the African market for the company's platform.

"At Huawei, we want to bring the best remittance services to our network partners and their customers. Africa is a key market in the mobile money industry and it's imperative we give our customers here access to the best services."

According to Huawei, the consumers can access the platform via smartphones and feature phones and this model has been particularly successful in developing markets.

Xpress Money customers can use the service to make online and offline payments, pay for essential services such as utilities and school fees, as well as access financial services including loan applications, insurance and banking.

Sudhesh Giriyan, Chief Operating Officer of Xpress Money, said "For those that have limited access to formal banking services, mobile money is a critical technology. There are over 500 million mobile money accounts currently in use and with Huawei servicing over 100 million of these, we're confident this collaboration will improve the state of financial services for Africa's unbanked."

Xpress Money has presence in more than 165 countries across 200,000 agent locations.

Huawei counts Safaricom, Vodafone, Vodacom and Teasy Mobile among its mobile money partners in markets that include Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

"With Xpress Money's strong customer base, we're excited to see how this partnership will benefit our mobile money users across Africa to provide a more convenient and cheaper remittance service," adds Chen.

Huawei and Xpress Money cited a 2016 report by the World Bank which found that two billion people across the globe had no access to formal financial services. The companies claim this is partly why mobile money has emerged as a safer alternative to cash globally.

The World Bank is currently rolling out its Financial Inclusion Global Initiative which aims to advance research in digital finance and accelerate digital financial inclusion for people living in China, Egypt and Mexico until 2020.

The program, which was first announced in July this year, is run in conjunction with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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