Mahindra Comviva and Airtel Niger, Niger’s mobile phone industry leader, were among the winners feted during this years West Africa Mobile Awards (WAMAS) 2017. The two firms were awarded for the Airtel Money service in the “Social Impact” category. The awards were presented recently in Lagos, Nigeria.
Airtel Money (M-KOUDI) is the largest mobile financial service in Niger. It is powered by Mahindra Comviva’s mobiquity Money. Airtel Money creates a Stored Value Account (SVA) linked to customer’s mobile number. The service can be used by the customers for domestic person to person transfers, international remittances, bill payments, merchant payments, transit payments, banking transactions and financial aid disbursements. It has allowed the country to ‘leapfrog’ traditional infrastructural limitations, like lack of banking facilities, and has become the key driver to social and economic change.
On the social front, Airtel Money has brought many unbanked Nigeriens into the mainstream of the economy. It has increased financial inclusion, as many of its customers were previously unbanked. It provides is quicker, safer and convenient means of transferring money and making payments compared to cash, allowing its users to spend more quality time with their family. It helps to speed up disbursement of aid in emergency situations such as drought by leveraging agent network on the ground.
On the economic front, Airtel Money solves the problem of small change during merchant payments, which stimulates even more purchase transactions. It enables businesses by making it easier to pay to creditors, suppliers, or employees with mobile money. For public utility companies such as electricity and water, Airtel Money enables faster collections and prevents revenue leakage.
Christophe Erny, VP, Market Unit, Mahindra Comviva said, “The award validates Airtel Money’s ability to catalyse social change with life changing solutions and Mahindra Comviva’s expertise in powering such solutions. It further recognizes our efforts to innovate and make an impact towards the overall betterment of the society. We will continue to partner Airtel in delivering life transforming services that enriches the life of Africans.”
Abdelkader Babakodo, Marketing Director, Airtel Niger said, “96.5% of Niger’s adult population is financially excluded, limiting their participation in the economy. On the other hand mobile phone penetration is as high as 35%. Airtel Money fills this gap as it leverages the ubiquity of mobile phones and Airtel’s agent network to deliver quick, secure, affordable and convenient digital payment services to the unbanked and thus brings them into the formal economy. We are happy to say that in a short period of time, Airtel Money Niger has succeeded to bring in socio-economic transformation on a scale. We are proud of this win as it is a validation of our hard work in the country.”
Airtel Niger and Mahindra Comviva were among the 10 winners feted at the WAMAS, the technology awards which recognise the region’s best mobile and tech companies. The winners were selected from over 150 submissions from across 14 countries.
Here is the full list of winners by category:
- Best App: nairabox
- Commerce & Retail: BuyChat
- FinTech: Flutterwave
- Mobile Education: Optiweb Communications
- Mobile Innovation: VAS2Nets Technologies – BVN Mobile
- Marketing Campaign: Bloom !nteractive – The Attraction
- Social Impact: Airtel Money Niger / Mahindra Comviva
- Social, News & Entertainment: BattaBox
- Outstanding Industry Achievement: Rebecca Enonchong
- Young Gun of the Year Award: Iyin Aboyeji (Flutterwave)
The WAMAS were supported by BBM, Mobile West Africa (MWA), AppsAfrica.com, MEF, Wimbart PR, Dress Me Outlet and Kasi Insights among other organisations.
The WAMAS recognize leading women, men and organizations for their contribution towards furthering the mobile industry in West Africa. The awards chart how mobile connectivity is having a fundamental impact on almost every aspect of the region.