Kenyan firm to power digital services for Barclays

January 30, 2012
Barclays bank logo/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – Mobile commerce services provider Cellulant has sealed a deal to provide digital services for Barclays Africa across its key markets on the continent.

Cellulant, who power mobile banking for more than 32 banks in Africa, operates Africa’s leading mobile commerce network with a growing turnover of more than Sh10 billion.

As part of its, ‘One Africa’ strategy, Barclays Africa has now teamed up with Cellulant to make its customer digital experience – mobile and Internet banking as well as ATMs – more convenient for customers across its 12 African countries, by deploying a new aggregator platform.

Speaking when he confirmed the new partnership, Barclays Africa’s corporate banking Managing Director, John Gachora explained that the new deal will facilitate the banks strategic efforts to provide convenient consumer access platforms. The partnership will also allow the bank to innovate and develop new products and services for its customers across Africa.

Cellulant’s Chief Business Officer Paul Ndichu explained that the new partnership will increase Barclays Africa customer’s activity on its E-channels allowing them to transact with a wide network of merchants across the Barclays Africa and Absa network.

In this new model, which will be rolled out in a phased approach, Cellulant will provide a merchant/bill payment platform as well as a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) aggregator to facilitate mobile commerce solutions’ for Barclays Africa.

“This new digital drive is all part of our One Africa strategy to increase channel access for both our retail customers and corporate clients. For our corporate clients, this offers an efficient and cost-effective channel to bill and receive payments from their customers. We are committed to listening to and meeting the needs of all our customers,” Gachora said.

The new aggregator platform, Ndichu explained, will be deployed in Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles, Botswana and Kenya, thereby allowing its users across the continent to enjoy mobile banking, merchant payments and other banking services on a multi-channelled approach.

“This is a first for the banking industry in Africa and is the Pan-African infrastructural model for our mobile commerce network. We are really proud to be executing this for Barclays & Absa,” said Ndichu.

“We have built a mobile commerce network that is connected to different platforms across different value chains in Africa such as MNO wallets, banks, merchant bill payment gateways and content delivery channels to deliver a transformational experience on mobile.”

Making use of Cellulant as an aggregator will also save the bank time and money by providing real time connectivity to critical third parties and will enable successful applications such as Hello Money, Internet Banking, Mobile Wallet (e.g. MPESA) and airtime top-up on all Barclays Africa e-channels.

Cellulant drives mobile commerce in 10 countries namely Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Mauritius, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and now Zimbabwe and Mozambique and is one of the first companies to be issued with the mobile payments licence in Nigeria.

In Africa, Cellulant enables mobiles commerce over 30 mobile networks for different industries including banking, insurance, travel, music, utilities, retail and manufacturing.

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