CEMAC: BEAC Calls for Order in the Mobile Money Segment

Mobile money is one of the ground-breaking innovations in the Cameroon finance sector, in general, and remittance, in particular. Its introduction in 2008, by Express Union, was to provide instant remittance services. Later in 2010 and 2011, the Telco operators (MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroun) joined the train and introduced diversified services including the payment of bills and airtime purchase.

In recent years, Mobile Money has witnessed abound improvements. The service can now be accessed on phones, at Telco operators’ agencies, specialized cash points, supermarkets, fuel stations, sidewalk kiosks and even at call-box stands. Its service package count above 13 services including instant remittances, payment of bills, taxes, tuition fees, airtime and fuel purchase, etc.

The most recent innovation in the Mobile Money segment was the launch of international remittance services by Telco operators. This move was considered illegal by BEAC and on 22 March 2017, the regulator sent a warning to Telco operators remitting electronic money out of CEMAC, arguing that they didn’t have the authorization. This activity, according to BEAC, is reserved for either banks or international money transfer operators only, thus, if measures are not taken to control and secure the digital remittance activity, there are high chances of exposure to risks such as: money laundering, tax evasion and, even, the funding of terrorism.

Consequently, this warning from BEAC shall bring in some order to the sector. Mobile money operators shall be obliged to comply with the regulations in force. This, in terms of the kind of services to offer, the prices to tables to set, and even the kind of partnerships to develop. The compliance from the Mobile Money operators shall also prevent abrupt market disruptions, absolute monopoly and give room for fair competition

 

Major Hightlights of the Cameroon Remittance & Mobile Money Market in March 2017

  

2016/2017 Tombola Campaigns

 

March 2017 witnessed phase 2 of the raffle draws.

Express Union, Emi Money and Express Exchange carried out the raffle draws for their respective Tombola campaigns and the published results record between 75 to 130 winners per region. The prizes awarded to the winners range from premium gifts (cars, HD TV sets, motorbikes, payment vouchers, tricycles, dining tables, bags of cement, etc.) to basic gifts (t-shirts, umbrellas, fans, books, etc.)

 

Market Innovations

 

In March 2017, the market saw innovations in the Mobile Money segment:

  • Express Union launched its new customized Mobile Money kiosks to boost its EU Mobile’s market presence and proximity. The innovation came after MTN Mobile Money and Orange Money reviewed their distribution strategy / channels from opening POS or partnering with Fuel Stations to installing customized Mobile Money kiosks and partnering with Call Box operators on the sidewalks.
  • Today, Express Union is operational at 700 POS nationwide, the launch of these EU Mobile Kiosks would extend its market coverage and also enable it counter the strong market competition staged by the Orange Money and MTN Mobile Money via their 3800 and 2500 cash points in Cameroon respectively.

 

Sunday Counters

In March 2017, Emi Money opened “Sunday Counters” at 28 of its POS in Cameroon:

  • Emi Money launched the provision of remittance services on Sundays from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M. at 28 of its POS nationwide after Express Exchange did the same at 11 of its branches in the North West and South West regions in Cameroon on 5 February 2017.
  • The Emi Money “Sunday Counters” include: 6 POS in the Centre (Bata Mokolo, Melen, Mvog-Mbi, Etoudi, Marche Huitieme and Mbalmayo 2), 5 POS in the Littoral (Ndokoti, Monkam, Missoke, Edea 2, Nkongsamba 2), 5 POS in the Far North (Maroua Marche 2, Maroua Domayo, Kousseri 1), 3 POS in the South (Kye Ossi, Ebolowa, Sangmelima), 2 POS in Adamawa (Ngaoundere Petit Marche, Ngaoundere Gare), 2 POS in the West (Bafoussam Marche B, Dschang 2), 2 POS in the East (Bertoua Hotel Universel, Batouri), 3 POS in the South West (Buea 1, Limbe 2, Kumba 1), 1 POS in the North West (Bamenda City Chemist) and 1 POS in the North (Garoua Yelwa) regions.
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