Partnership offers instant prepaid mobile airtime refills at over 175,000 retail locations
Berwyn, PA August 9, 2014 – Cellcom Liberia, one of the largest telecommunications providers in Liberia and the first provider of 4G service in the region, has partnered with Prepay Nation, a leading provider of cross-border microvalue and prepaid mobile airtime transfers, to make mobile airtime refills for its subscribers available for purchase overseas. The move will open up a no-fee form of remittance to the hundreds of thousands of Liberian expatriates who support their loved ones back home.
Liberian emigrants are estimated to number over 500,000, largely concentrated in the U.S.A., Germany, Italy, Holland and UK. According to the World Bank, 20% of Liberia’s GDP comes from remittances as they send millions of dollars home every year to help loved ones with bills and expenses. Pew Research estimates $342 million worth of remittance was received by Liberia in 2012, out of which $166 million was sent from the U.S., and $80 million was sent from Guinea. Cellcom in Guinea and Prepay Nation have enjoyed a successful partnership for the last 2 years, a high-volume collaboration that has inspired corporate confidence in this Cellcom Liberia initiative.
Most of the funds received by Liberia is sent through traditional money transfer organizations, but the price of those channels is steep: it costs as much as $15 in fees to send only $200 from the United States to Liberia, where it must be physically collected, incurring both inconvenience and often risk.
“Mobile airtime is a different way to provide financial assistance to family back home,” said Hervé Perrin, VP of Business Development at Prepay Nation. “With this partnership, Liberian immigrants in the U.S.A., Canada, Europe and the Middle East can now purchase airtime refills for their loved ones’ phones. The full value of the purchase, with no fees subtracted, is received instantly on the subscriber’s mobile.”
“Their hard-earned dollars go further, and immediately relieve of one of their loved ones’ primary expenses,” added Perrin. “It’s a godsend for immigrant populations all over the world, and we’re thrilled to make it a reality for Cellcom subscribers.”
“Our primary focus is always on providing greater and greater value for our subscribers,” said John Vasikaran, CEO of Cellcom Liberia. “We have led the charge in growing and enhancing Liberia’s mobile technology infrastructure, and have twice been recognized as the Best GSM Company in Liberia. Opening up the ability to receive instant, Free of Cost airtime transfers from family and friends abroad is a perfect addition to our offerings. Prepay Nation’s retail network spans 175,000 locations, touching our whole diaspora, and we are confident that our customers will love this new opportunity.”