Visa and Bharti Airtel, a telecommunications services provider across Asia and Africa, have formed a partnership to bring mobile payment services to seven markets in Africa.

The new payments services will be launched in markets including Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles and Tanzania.

The relationship 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.

Visa and Airtel will allow customers to withdraw money and make payments from their Airtel Money account via Airtel Money Visa companion card besides permitting micro-payments, fund transfers, airtime purchase and pre-paid electricity.

Visa vice president of MNO Partnerships Vish Sowani said: "Mobile payments can transform the lives of people throughout Africa who commonly have access to a mobile phone, but not a bank.

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"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."