Access Bank Nigeria and MFS Africa Partner to Expand Cross-Border Payments in Africa”

MFS Africa, the largest digital payments network in Africa, has partnered with Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank, to enable real-time and cost-effective cross-border payments. The partnership aims to facilitate financial support for families abroad and trade transactions between African countries.

Access Bank’s AccessAfrica remittance service allows customers to transfer and receive money across the world from loved ones and business partners. With this partnership, AccessAfrica customers will be able to receive payments from all over the world through MFS Africa partners. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reports that migrant workers sent over $95 billion to and within Africa in 2021, benefiting over 200 million family members, the majority of whom live in rural areas. Through accessing MFS Africa’s hub, Access Bank will be able to send remittances and payments to MFS Africa’s footprint of over 400 million mobile money wallets and over 200 million bank accounts across more than 35 African markets, expanding its AccessAfrica remittance corridors across its 17 markets.

“This partnership builds on the existing cross-border payment infrastructure by Access Bank and would facilitate payments to more African corridors, increasing the number of countries we can send instant payments to through Access Africa,” said Mr Robert Giles, Senior Banking Advisor for Retail at Access Bank. “Our partnership with MFS Africa and access to hundreds of millions of people in the new markets will help our customers pay and be paid, facilitating greater economic inclusion through trade as well as helping families across borders. Critically, this propels us closer towards being ‘Africa’s gateway to the world’ and democratizing access to payments through affordable, safe and reliable platforms.”

The chief executive of MFS Africa, Mr Dare Okoudjou, described the partnership as the confirmation of MFS Africa’s commitment to making borders matter less for individuals and organizations across the continent, ultimately fostering financial inclusion. “Through this partnership, we’ll be expanding Access instant outbound remittance reach to potentially 400 million mobile wallets and more than 130 banks across over 35 African countries, enabling thousands of people and businesses throughout the continent to receive payments in real-time from Nigeria and improving convenience for and facilitating trade with the neighboring countries and beyond,” he said.

The partnership between MFS Africa and Access Bank is a significant step towards addressing the challenges of cross-border payments in Africa. Cross-border payments in Africa are often slow, expensive, and subject to regulatory barriers, making it difficult for individuals and businesses to send and receive money across borders. The World Bank estimates that the average cost of sending remittances to Africa is 8.9%, significantly higher than the global average of 6.8%. By leveraging MFS Africa’s digital payments network, Access Bank can offer its customers a more cost-effective and efficient way to send and receive money across borders, increasing financial inclusion and fostering economic growth in the region.

The partnership between MFS Africa and Access Bank also aligns with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a free trade agreement among African Union member states. The AfCFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services, facilitate the movement of capital, and promote economic integration among African countries. The agreement is expected to boost intra-African trade, increase economic growth, and create jobs, but cross-border payments remain a significant challenge. The partnership between MFS Africa and Access Bank can help to address this challenge by offering a more efficient and cost-effective way to send and receive payments across borders, promoting economic integration and growth in the region.

In conclusion, the partnership between MFS Africa and Access Bank is a significant step towards addressing the challenges of cross-border payments in Africa. By leveraging MFS Africa’s digital payments network, Access Bank can offer its customers a more cost-effective and efficient way to send and receive money across borders.

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