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Visa and Airtel Extend Mobile Payments to Seven African Countries

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Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) and Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced a partnership to bring innovative mobile payment services to seven markets in Africa including Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles and Tanzania.

Visa and Airtel will build on the existing capabilities of Airtel’s Mobile Money service, allowing subscribers to use their Airtel Money account to pay in stores and online wherever Visa is accepted. Additionally, customers can withdraw money and make payments from their Airtel Money account using their Airtel Money Visa companion card.

“Mobile payments can transform the lives of people throughout Africa who commonly have access to a mobile phone, but not a bank,” said Vish Sowani, Vice President of MNO Partnerships for Visa. “For most new subscribers, this will represent their first payment account and bring some of the latest digital payment advancements into the everyday experiences of Airtel’s customers.”

In addition to everyday Visa transactions in stores, online and at ATMs, Airtel Money can also be used to make micro-payments, conduct fund transfers, purchase airtime and pre-paid electricity, plus Internet bundles – using an easy, safe mobile experience. For example, a bill can be paid without having to travel, wait in long lines, or hold large sums of cash.

“We are excited to embark on the next phase of development for Airtel Money with our new partner Visa,” said Chidi Okpala, Director and Head of Airtel Money Africa. “We can look forward to further empowering our Airtel Money customers with access to retail, ATM and online payments using only their Airtel Mobile Phone and companion card to manage all their mobile payment needs.”

Visa and Airtel have already launched an Airtel Money Visa Card in Kenya and will roll out services in other markets starting in early 2015.

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks – VisaNet – that is capable of handling more than 56,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.

About Airtel Africa

Airtel is driven by the vision of providing affordable and innovative mobile services to all. Airtel has African operations in: Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

About Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 277 million customers across its operations at the end of September 2013.

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