Speaking during the launch, Jean-Claude Farah, Senior Vice President, Middle East and Africa, 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.”
This partnership however faces stiff competion.
Kenya’s MPesa announced such an agreement in March 2011 with Western Union allowing people in Kenya to receive money from any Western Union agent from across the world. Also Nation Media Group recently launched such a service dubbed NationHela to help people in Kenya receive money internationally. Before NationHela, Barclays had just launched Pingit in Kenya which it is now spreading to the UK.
Seems Ecobank knows there are so many marginalised from this services. Pingit works for Barclays clients only. MPesa also works to Safaricom subscribers only and our last inquiry about the service wasn’t received positively. We are not sure what to say about NationHela yet.
Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive Director, Domestic Bank however has a point,he said, “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.”
Therefore Ecobank is interested in bettering it services to its clients especially as diaspora remittances soar.
And Linus Adaba, Group Remittance Manager, Ecobank, confirms this, she 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.”