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Etisalat signals entry into m-payments space

Makes eminent sense for a telco operating in the Gulf and in Sri Lanka to offer mpayment services. Also makes eminent sense to abolish excessive roaming charges within countries they operate in, like Zain (in the process of becoming part of Bharti). And even selling Etisalat SIMs to our workers before they go to Dubai.

Etisalat’s new Sri Lankan mobile subsidiary is in talks with banks to offer financial services on mobile phones, such as money transfers for migrant workers in the Middle East, a senior company official said.

Riyaaz Rasheed deputy chief executive of Etisalat Lanka said the mobile operator is seeking to tie-up with banks to offer the financial services. “We’re already talking to two of the biggest banks in Sri Lanka,” he told LBO. Rasheed declined to identify the banks, citing non-disclosure agreements signed with them.

Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates-based telecom firm, acquired 100 percent of the Sri Lanka operation called Tigo from Millicom International in October 2009 and has renamed it Etisalat Lanka.

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