2015 Finance Law Increases International Remittance Tax Rate by 33%

In a bid to control the Cameroon financial sector, government has reiterated the clauses of the 2015 Finance Law which among others, increase the tax rate on international remittances from Cameroon to other countries by 33%. Consequently, this regulation is likely to have an adverse effect on the margin of the international remittance operators and their sub-agents in Cameroon.

Furthermore, this 33% increase could also disrupt the business sector in Cameroon. Therefore, since these agents and sub-agents cannot increase charges on international remittances following the 7% rate instituted by the World Bank, they are obliged to adopt new strategies to maximize profit in the present situation. Most of these remittance agents in Cameroon have resorted to offering “multi-remittance-products” at their POS. Some of these agents and sub-gents who offer the multi-remittance-products include: Agents: Afriland First Bank (MTN Mobile Money, Small World, MoneyGram), Emi Money (Western Union, Money Express), Express Union (Money Express, MoneyGram, Net Express, Xpress Money, Small World, Cash Service, Paco Money, Money & Com), CCA (Western Union, Money Express, Coinstar, Moneytrans), etc. In spite of this tax rate increase, World Bank speculations indicate that by 2017, international remittances shall raise about USD 636 billion and a major proportion of the amount is expected to come from Africa given that cross-border transactions in Africa alone, raise about USD 60 billion per year.

 

NATIONAL

 

MTN Opens the First Mobile Money ATM in Cameroon

The South African Telco Group in Cameroon has launched the first Mobile Money ATM in Douala. This is to enhance the mobile money service as well as improve on the service quality by providing faster, secure and convenient cash-out services to Cameroonians. This innovation, in addition to its 15oo cash-in/cash-0ut POS in Cameroon, is a move taken by MTN to develop the mobile money market which recorded just 600 000 (12%) active users in 3Q2015. It is also a strategy to overcome the market competition staged by rivals such as Orange Money and Express Union Mobile Money.

 

Western Union Fuels International Money Transfer with a FCFA 5 000 000 Package to Share!

Western Union has offered a sum of FCFA 5 000 000 to be shared among its customers (FCFA 1 000 000 each) for any international remittance transaction from Cameroon. This promotion, scheduled to end on 31 January 2016, is another move taken by WU to boost its international remittance performance as well as a response to the fierce market competition. Moreover, this remittance promotion seems to be a vital competitive strategy for remittance operators and their sub-agents in Cameroon. For example, some sub-agents such as Emi Money (Western Union & Money Express) and Express Exchange (MoneyGram) are boosting their financial inclusion by launching campaigns for amazing prizes to be won by Cameroonians who perform at least 3 international remittance transactions via their international remittance partners.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Express Union Launches Express Union Mobile in Gabon

Express Union, a Cameroon remittance operator, has launched its mobile money service to its Gabon subsidiary. This innovation shall enable Gabonese to transfer money faster, with more security, using their mobile phones. These transactions can be done to both Central and West African States where Express Union is operational. In addition to this mobile money service, which has been operational in Cameroon for 12 years now, Express Union also provides other services namely: the pre-financing of reliable projects as well as the payment of salaries to its customers of both the private and the public sector.

Sources: Cameroon tribune (6/1/2016)

 

 

UBA Launches U-Mobile, a New Mobile Banking Platform

The United Bank for Africa (UBA), has launched a new mobile banking application, U-Mobile to complement U-Direct, its existing online banking App. U-Mobile is ‘more advanced and user-friendly’ banking platform which is compatible with multiple devices including tablets and iPhone, Android and BlackBerry phones. The aim of the new app is to offer quick and easy banking to its customers, no matter where they are or the time of day. With a key feature being its new marketplace, in which SMEs can operate a virtual store and receive payments, U-Mobile shall provide for transactions which allow customers to withdraw money from ATMs without need for their cards. An ability to pay organizations, including colleges and universities, has also been added.

Source: http://mobilemoneyafrica.com/content.php?id=2554

 

Orange Group Plans to Launch a Mobile-Only Bank by 2017

Orange has announced its plans to launch a mobile-only bank in France by 2017. In collaboration with the French insurance firm, Groupama, the establishment is said to provide all standard banking services, in addition to savings, loans and insurance. With the Telco’s aim to generate €1 billion in revenue from new services in 2018, of which €400 million will come from financial services, this innovation would provide Orange with an existing infrastructure on which to base its banking offer, including an online channel and network of high street branches, that would complement Orange's own distribution network, brand and customer base.

Source: http://mobilemoneyafrica.com/content.php?id=2559

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