By Chinazor Megbolu
In a bid to make financial transactions easier for Africans, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Western Union Money Transfer to introduce Internet Account Based Money Transfer (ABMT) in Kenya.
The event, which took place in Lagos, they said will provide an opportunity for Ecobank to offer more than 2,600 agent location across its 31 countries where they have branches with regards to the ABMT services.
The Group Executive Director, Ecobank, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, said the electronic service is an extension of the two companies’ successful collaborations over the years in Africa.
“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 account anytime from any of the approximately 510,000 Western Union agent locations around the world,” he said.
Akinwuntan explained further that the service would also offer the unbanked customers to become banked and fully integrate them into the formal financial system, thus promoting financial inclusion.
He also pointed out that they were leveraging technology to take the banking to the people through the provision of convenient, reliable and affordable financial products and services, which he added is a key part of the bank’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, “he said.
Meanwhile, the Senior Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Western
Union, Mr. Jean Claude Farah, in his presentation noted that the agreement with Ecobank aimed to further encourage remittance flows and deepen their contribution to financial inclusion.
He stated that despite the financial crisis being witnessed globally, Western Union had been reliable financial service providers for many countries.
“The inclusion of ABMT reinforces our relationship with Ecobank. This also demonstrates Western Union’s continual commitment to providing reliable and convenient world-class money transfer services, “he said.
He maintained that Ecobank, being a strong brand and valued agent of Western Union, added that the partnership extension is a clear example of two leading companies and brand collaborating to meet the fast evolving needs of consumers for technology driven innovations and services in money movement.