Business News of 2014-04-10

Airtel Money, VIVO Energy sign pact

Vivo Energy, a Shell licensee in 15 African markets, and Airtel Money today announced a collaborative Pan-African agreement to strengthen both companies’ footprints in providing services to their growing customer base.
Vivo Energy operates 1,430 Shell branded service stations in 15 countries across Africa, and Airtel Money is also operational in 15 countries in Africa, with over 27 million registered customers and over 250,000 registered agents.
The objective of the agreement is therefore to give communities in these countries, substantially more Airtel Money agent points through 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 would operate.
A statement from the two companies said the 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 at all Shell Service Stations. Shell service stations will stock and sell Airtel airtime, and Shell service stations will provide float to Airtel Money agents
The partnership will initially 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 said: “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. Mobile Money services have gained momentum in a number of countries across the continent, led by operators, like Airtel, looking to add to their portfolio value-added services.
These initiatives, according to Mureithi, “fit our overall strategy of offering innovating solutions to our customers and develop lasting relationship with them. Through this alliance with Airtel, we want to expand the range of services we offer to our customers and also allow them to pay in a simple and easy way on our retail sites.”
The ?Director and Africa Head of Airtel Money, Mr Chidi Okpala said “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. The partnership will bring Airtel Money closer to arm’s length for customers who visit the very conveniently located Shell branded outlets every day”.