U-Com Burundi, a wholly owned subsidiary of Orascom Telecom (part of the Vimpelcom group) which offers services under the brand name leo, is adding a mobile banking service as it looks to drive subscriber growth in 2013. According to Bloomberg the cellco has entered into an agreement with Interbank Burundi that will allow its mobile users to deposit money into savings accounts and make withdrawals using their mobile phones. U-Com spokesman Laurent Ndayikeza said that US-based firm Obopay Inc, has been picked to provide a secure internet connection and servers to process transactions. ‘This will help leo and the Burundian government to increase the financial inclusion rate,’ Ndayikeza is quoted as saying. It is understood that the cellco is targeting a total of 200,000 customers to its leo Manoti mobile-phone payment service by 31 December 2013, up from 55,000 now. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database U-Com Burundi had 1.555 million mobile subscribers at the start of this year, a market share of 63.5%. Other licensed operators include Econet Wireless Burundi (EWB), Africa Cellulaire (TEMPO), Office National des Telecommunications (Onatel), Lacell SU (Smile Mobile) and HiTs Telecom (Burundi).
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