Crown Agents Bank pens Vodacom mobile payments partnership
Crown Agents Bank has signed a mobile payments partnership with Vodacom Congo subsidiary, Vodacash.
The deal extends Crown Agents Bank’s mobile capabilities to 13.4 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Crown Agents Bank will integrate its payment gateway with Vodacash platform. It aims to provide international development organisations (IDOs) a way to pay individuals.
The partnership draws on Vodacom Congo’s cellular network and VodaCash’s agent network to reach rural communities.
Users receive payments from the M-Pesa mobile money solution, which operates a 54% market share in the DRC.
Mobile money has become a key channel for displaced Congolese to receive their funds. Conflict in the country uprooted more than five million people. World Health Organisation data shows that the DRC is battling the twin issues of COVID-19 and Ebola.
In 2019, 60,000 people received cash assistance in the country.
“Being able to provide payments to mobile wallets in the DRC is an important step towards financial inclusivity,” says Steve Marshall, chief commercial officer at Crown Agents Bank.
“Along with our well-established FX capabilities across the continent, we are building out a suite of payment services that allow us to reach those who previously were unable to access financial services.”
Marshall says that the deal’s timing is crucial. He says demand has increased from IDOs making payments to mobile wallets in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crown Agents Bank says the partnership marks the first in a series of planned integrations across Africa.
“We have a large number of customers who will benefit from our partnership with Crown Agents Bank,” says Chris Williamson, managing executive for M-Pesa at Vodacom.
“Payments have historically been challenging in the region, especially getting funds to those who are financially excluded.
“The uptake of mobile wallets in DRC means more people can now receive payments with maximum convenience and minimum cost.”