Money transfer company Western Union agreed a deal to make instant payments into accounts held with Bharti Airtel’s banking service in India and mobile wallets run by the operator’s Africa subsidiary.

The deal means Western Union’s customers across the globe will be able to instantly transfer cash to Airtel Payments Bank customers in India and 14 markets in Africa where the Airtel Money service is available.

For Western Union, the deal boosts its reach to a greater number of mobile wallets across several large inbound remittance markets, while also easing receipt of funds for users of Airtel’s various financial service platforms.

Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said: “International remittances into Africa are a lifeline to some of our customers. This partnership gives our customers the convenience of directly receiving and sending remittances from their Airtel mobile money wallets.”

India-based Airtel Payments Bank has “millions of users”, a joint statement revealed, while Airtel Money’s combined user base stands at 15 million across its footprint, including operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Western Union transfers are set to be made available by the end of the year in all markets covered by the deal.