Airtel Chad has launched the nation’s first mobile banking service, dubbed Airtel Money, allowing its customers to carry out financial transactions such as paying utility bills through their mobile phones. It is hoped that the service, which was launched in conjunction with Ecobank, will contribute to job creation and business opportunities. The cellco’s CEO, Salia Gbane commented on the launch: ‘This service allows customers to send money to their relatives, pay essential bills such as electricity and water, tuition fees, bookings and even buy groceries without having to carry cash. The phone essentially becomes an electronic wallet. This partnership clearly demonstrates the revolutionary role that mobile communications can play in improving the living conditions of the communities that we serve.’ As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Airtel’s main rival in Chad, Luxembourg-backed cellco Tigo Chad, has previously announced plans to extend its Tigo Cash service to the country during 2012, but has been beaten to the punch by Airtel.