Changing Buying Habits in Africa Through Airtel M-Commerce

Airtel
April 10, 2014

By Dr. Tyra OldhamLANDsds Sustainable Voice News

The synergy of technology and energy are available in Africa.  The news is the accessibility of resources via an online money accessibility platform.  The news of “Vivo Energy And Airtel Money Sign Pan African Partnership Agreement”  may lead to innovation or an unknown phenomena in socioeconomics.

Shell customers will now be able to pay for their fuel using Airtel Money       

Vivo Energy a Shell licensee in 15 African markets, and Airtel Money today announced a collaborative Pan African agreement to strengthen both companies’ footprint in providing services to their growing customer base. Vivo Energy operates 1,430 Shell branded service stations in 15 countries across Africa and aims to be the most respected energy company in Africa. Airtel Money is operational in 15 countries in Africa, with over 27 million registered customers and over 250,000 registered agents. Airtel money currently has the widest m-commerce footprint in Africa and building a cashless ecosystem across the continent. The objective of the agreement is to give the communities substantially more Airtel Money agent points through the Vivo Energy’s network of Shell retail service stations and convenience shops in all current and future countries in Africa in which both Airtel and Vivo Energy operate,” posts Business Ghana.

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The initial scope of the alliance will cover the following areas:

  • Shell service stations will be Cash In and Cash Out points for Airtel Money customers
  • Airtel Money will be an accepted mode of payment in all Shell Service Stations
  • Shell service stations will stock and sell Airtel airtime
  • Shell service stations will provide float to Airtel Money agents

The partnership will be rolled out in Uganda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Kenya where both companies currently overlap by first half of this year. Mr David Mureithi, Executive Vice President Supply & Marketing at Vivo Energy states that: “Mobile money represents huge opportunity with the unbanked and also banked population of Africa. At the end of 2013, we had more than 730 million mobile phones registered in Africa. This represents a 70% penetration in the population. The Director and Africa Head of Airtel Money, Mr Chidi Okpala states that “this partnership provides our customers with additional outlets where they can deposit and withdraw cash, as well as make purchases for fuel and other services at Shell service stations with Airtel Money.

Providing an economic portal, same as cash with benefits is the tool Africa is using to gain access but is this a widely manageable process for success.  The benefits to Shell are clear. Can this same value be delivered to support socioeconomic development.

This system is worth watching to determine the sustainable results to the user and stakeholders. The replacement of cash for uploading renewable money can be one remedy to accessing critical resources.  This method does not address developing economic power i.e. credit for leveraging equity and assets. This process is changing the state of spend and consumption.

 

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