The provision of international remittances by Orange Money out of West Africa have been temporarily suspended by BCEAO (on 10 March 2017) and recently (on 22 March 2017), BEAC kicked against Telco operators in the CEMAC zone remitting out of Central Africa. The mentioned regulators argue that the Telco operators concerned do not have the authorization to provide international Mobile Money services out of WAEMU and CEMAC sub-regions. This activity, according to them, is reserved for either banks or international money transfer operators only.

The launch of Mobile Money services by Express Union in December 2008 is one the major innovations in the Cameroon remittance industry. The service allowed customers to instantly transfer money using their phones and the recipients cashed the money at the operators’ POS. 9 years later, we count a total of 13 Mobile Money services including remittance, payment of utility bills, tuition fees, taxes, etc. and about 5.9 million Mobile Money accounts in Cameroon.

The routine launch of “Tombola Campaigns” in Cameroon for about 6 years now and by national remittance operators within the first semester of each year has proven to be a productive strategy to boost transaction volumes, profit margins and customer satisfaction. 2016 witnessed 3 major “Tombola” campaigns which were launched by Express Union (Grande Tombola), Emi Money (Big Raffle) and Express Exchange (Transfer More and Win Big!) …all calling on their customers to either remit locally and internationally or pay more utility bills  in order to increase their chances of winning big.

Today, the zeal for remittance operators in Cameroon to have a larger market presence and get as close as possible to their customers cannot be overstated. This passion and market development strategy was illustrated last month through Express Union’s latest innovations including: her online remittance service and her new ATM cards (Blue Card and Blue Boss) serving both remittance and banking purposes.

The remittance market in January 2017 witnessed 5 major activities including the launch of 3 new digital solutions and the signing of 2 partnerships.  More than 70% of the market activities were driven by innovative technology through the launch of new digital solutions, particularly, the Express Union bank cards and MTN Mobile Money’s international remittance service in Africa.

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