Western Union, a global leader in payment services, and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (Ecobank), a leading financial services group in sub-Saharan Africa, Thursday announced the launch of an Account Based Money Transfer service (ABMT) in Kenya.
The new electronic service launch is an extension of the two companies’ successful collaboration across Africa.
A press statement, received here by PANA, said that Western Ecobank Retail Banking intends to offer Western Union ABMT service in more than 2,600 Agent locations across its footprint of 31 countries in the coming months.
Under the partnership, ABMT will allow Ecobank customers convenient access to the Western Union service via internet banking and through any of the ATMs and kiosks in the Ecobank network, enabling them to receive money in their accounts anytime from any of the approximately 510,000 Western Union Agent locations around the world.
ABMT is also a service that may attract formally unbanked consumers to become banked and fully integrated into the formal financial system, thus taking financial inclusion to the next level.
Jean-Claude Farah, Senior Vice President, Middle and East Africa at Western Union, said, “Western Union is pleased to strengthen this mutually productive and beneficial relationship with the inclusion of electronic banking channels that are customer-centric and technologically advanced.”
Commenting further on the launch, Aida Diarra, Vice President, North, Central and West Africa at Western Union, stated that, “The inclusion of Account Based Money Transfer systems reinforces our relationship with Ecobank. This also demonstrates Western Union’s continual commitment to providing reliable and convenient world-class money transfer services”.
Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive Director, Domestic Bank, observed, “Leveraging technology to take banking to the people by providing convenient, reliable and affordable financial products and services is a key part of Ecobank’s strategy, therefore we are pleased to be partnering with Western Union to be the first to offer such an innovative and convenient banking service to our customers.”
Linus Adaba, Group Remittance Manager, Ecobank, concluded, “The financial services industry is a major driver of Africa’s economic growth, particularly as international migration continues to expand, fuelling the global remittances market. Ecobank and Western Union play a pivotal role by moving money across the continent in innovative and cost-effective ways.”
A leader in global payment services, Western Union, together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders.
As of 30 September, 2012, Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 510,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories.
In 2011, the Western Union Company completed 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving US$ 81 billion of principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments.
Incorporated in Lomé, Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group.
It currently has presence in 33 African countries — Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It is listed on the stock exchanges in Lagos, Accra and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) – the BRVM in Abidjan.
The Group is owned by more than 600,000 local and international institutional shareholders and private individuals. The Group has 18,375 employees in 36 countries worldwide and 1,197 branches.