Airtel Kenya upgrades money transfer platform, doubles agency outlets


Airtel Money, the mobile payment platform for Airtel, has doubled its Active Agent base in Kenya to 22,000 from 10,000 in a bid to enhance customer reach and satisfaction. The Airtel Money system was also upgraded in September 2016 to enable customers to access real-time payments processing services across multiple access channels.

Using different client interfaces across multiple channels, the new platform maximizes customer satisfaction levels and allows customers to send and receive money, pay bills and buy goods and services, wirelessly, conveniently and reliably. Airtel Money allows customers to send money across all networks in Kenya for free.

(TOP: An Airtel customer being served at the Airtel shop in Sarit Centre).

According to the fourth quarter sector statistics by Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), the mobile money transfer service recorded a 7% growth in the number of subscriptions rising from 4,226,205 to 4,853,869 subscribers in the period between April and June 2016. The increase has been attributed to the recent efforts by Airtel Kenya through an expanded network  of external partners who are specialists in acquiring, managing and maintaining mobile money agency networks.

The overwhelming response saw over 140 applications received, 80 of whom fulfilled minimum requirements. From the 80, Airtel settled on 25 partners spread across Kenya, each with an assigned zone to recruit from. This strategy helped Airtel to localize agent acquisition and expand faster in regions outside Nairobi.

In a statement, Airtel Kenya CEO, Adil El Youssefi explained that the new push has enabled Airtel Money to achieve immense growth, ensuring  that Kenyans across the country have access to agents that enable them to make transactions via their Airtel mobile phones.

“In the era of financial inclusion through increased accessibility to mobile financial services, it is estimated that 32% of adults are loyal to a particular mobile financial services agent. This increase in Airtel Money agents therefore is a step in the right direction to ensure that Airtel customers can now easily access our affordable and reliable Airtel Money services,” Adil added.

In addition to increasing the number of agents, Airtel has also simplified the process of on-boarding new agents from two weeks to an incredible one-hour duration to get an agent operating in a new location, serving a new set of customers and earning commissions. This has significantly improved the company’s speed to market, and made it much easier for any qualifying retailer to be on-boarded with near zero wait time.

Airtel Money agents are widely spread across the country with a larger concentration being in urban centers. However, efforts are underway to ensure that there are a minimum of four Airtel Money agents in every rural market center country-wide.