Outbound Transfers Reactivated in Cameroon: Who Shall Lead this Market Segment?

For about a year now, a number of international operators including: Western Union, Sigue, Money Express, Ria, Small World, MoneyGram, etc. had their outbound remittances (transfers from Cameroon to external corridors) suspended at the locations of their agents and sub-agents. Sources from some of the agents complained that the regulation imposed 33.33% as tax for each external transaction whereas they received just 20% as compensation from their international remittance partners. The suspension of these services dealt a huge blow to the operators and the customers as only receiving transactions were available.

As a result of this suspension, the market saw new and young operators such as Express Union International (EUI) and MTN Mobile Money made use of the situation and rose up to overtake the international remittance market. EUl continued to provide external transfers and opened 7 new corridors in West Africa. It also signed a new partnership with Emi Money, who is highly present in Cameroon, to expand its network and service provision. MTN Mobile Money launched its “MoMo” product, giving its subscribers the possibility to remit from Cameroon to 25 Central and West African corridors. Traditional operators such as MoneyGram also managed to keep its outbound services afloat by providing a quota of external transfers per day only at Express Exchange locations.

Later this month, Western Union joint the fleet by announcing the reactivation of its outbound transfers in Cameroon at all Société Générale locations. This comeback, thus, beg the questions: who shall lead the outbound market? Will the return of giants such as WU and MoneyGram displace the EUI and MTN Mobile Money from their current leading positions? Will this comeback be accompanied with new “Pull or Push” strategies?

This progressive resumption of the outbound transfers implies that Cameroon is a strategic niche for the operators. Considering Cameroon’s strategic position as the remittance hub of the Sub-Region, the resumption of these external transfers shall go a long way to raise to get the market more active, raise profit margins of the operators and renew consumers’ confidence and loyalty for their operators. In addition, the income generated from taxes charged on the external transfer is also going to contribute in boosting the State’s coffers.

Nevertheless, these renowned international operators (WU and MoneyGram) still have a huge challenge in lifting the threat staged by the budding segment players (EUI and MTN Mobile Money) in Cameroon. A quota of the external transfers are available per day and they are operational few agent locations.  For instance, Western Union and MoneyGram outbound services are not operational at all their locations in Cameroon. Société Généralerepresents just 2.8% of WU’s POS network in whereas Express Exchange represents 24.2% of MoneyGram’s POS in Cameroon. Therefore, these remittance giants have a tough task insuring full and effective service provision in the country.

 

NATIONAL

 

Western Union Reopens Its Outbound Services in Cameroon at Société Générale Locations

Société Générale Cameroun, one of Western Union’s exclusive agents has announced the resumption of external remittance transactions at all their agencies in Cameroon. This WU outbound service was suspended last year, not only at Société Générale, but at the locations of all WU agents and sub-agents in Cameroon.

During this service interruption, Express Union International and MoneyGram continued to provide outbound transfers in Cameroon. In the first half of 2017, MTN Mobile Money, thanks to its partnership with WorldRemit, also launched its outbound transfers “MoMo” to 25 corridors in Central and West Africa.

EUI and MTN Mobile Money provided unlimited outbound transfers at all their POS but MoneyGram provided a quota of transactions per day and only at Express Exchange agencies in Cameroon. Today, WU has joined the group of outbound service providers at all Société GénéraleBranches… a key move which would boost transaction volumes and profits at SGC but also stir market competition for other operators including Sigue, Ria, Small World, Money Express, etc. who would likely reactivate their external transfers.

 

Express Union Launches the Payment of Registration Fees for the National Entrance into the Police Academy in Cameroon

Following the launch of the 2017 National Entrance into the Police Academy in Cameroon, Express Union, through its EU Registration service, launched the payment of registration fees for the said entrance at all its locations in the country.

Prospective candidates and well as parents are, hereby, called to gain in time as well as security by paying their registration fees at the next Express Union agency.

This recruitment campaign which aims to select over 5000 new junior officers usually receives files from much more candidates. Therefore, the strategic role of EU Registration in raising the operator’s profit margin through transaction volumes during the registration period cannot be over emphasized.

 

Express Exchange Partners with the University of Bamenda for the Payment of University Tuition Fees

Express Exchange has signed a new partnership with the University of Bamenda (UBa) to enable student pay their tuition fees easily and also receive money from parents or relatives instantly. This partnership makes the UBa the third State University partnering with Express Exchange after the Universities of Dschang and Maroua.

According to the Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji, Vice Chancellor of UBa, this partnership goes beyond enhancing the payment of tuition fees but will also help the students to gain professional experience in Finance, Remittance and related fields by carrying out their respective internships at Express Exchange agencies. This partnership, thus, takes Express Exchange closer to its customers as well as new ones given that market proximity is one of operator’s principal goals.

Source: Infomercial on Canal 2 on 4/5/2017

 

Express Exchange Grows Its Network to about 320 POS with 9 New Branches

Express Exchange has increased its market coverage by opening 9 new branches in several localities in Cameroon. They include: Magba, Bankim, Malantouen, Babadjou, Ayos, Betare Oya, Akonolinga, Eseka and Nanga Eboko.

The opening of these 9 new branches follows the series of 5 other agencies that were opened last June 2016 in Douala, Yaounde, Mbouda and Bamenda. Today, Express Exchange counts close to 320 active branches in Cameroon.

This growing network also allows Express Exchange to reach more customers and boost its fund collection and centralization service from the unbanked customers in these target localities.

By extension, MoneyGram would also be able to reach more customers as it connects them to their loved ones abroad. In this light, reckons with other sparing partners including Western Union, EUI, Sigue, Ria, etc.

Source: Infomercial on Canal 2 on 4/5/2017

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Ghana: aYo Launches “Send with Care” Insurance Product on MTN Mobile Money Platform

MTN Ghana and Metropolitan Life Insurance have partnered to provide insurance cover “Send with Care” for funds sent via MTN Mobile Money. Today, MTN subscribers can now enjoy insurance services in their Mobile Money transfers.

Commenting on the partnership,  Chief Executive Officer at aYo Holdings, Imran Mahomed, said, “We are very excited and privileged to be able to partner with MTN on our initial offering in Ghana, a first of its kind in the country, toward making insurance more accessible and easy to use.”

The aYo-MTN insurance package involves a tripled amount of funds sent to the sender’s beneficiaries over the last 4 months which could be paid out as a lump sum or in 12 equal monthly installments, depending on the subscriber’s cover level.

MTN subscribers who send monies to beneficiaries via Mobile Money can benefit from this when hospitalized for a night or more due to an accident or in the unfortunate event of their death.

In order to access the insurance product, you simply select the option to “Send with Care” when using your mobile phone to transfer money via MTN Mobile Money. The Send with Care menu can be accessed by dialing *170#”.

Source: http://mobilemoneyafrica.com/content.php?id=3372&mc_cid=79f2200329&mc_eid=71c1e2d3e7

 

Tanzania: Taxes from Mobile Money Bring in 63 Billion   

The Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring System (TTMS) in Tanzania reveals that Mobile Money transactions have brought in 63 billion as taxes to the government coffers from October 2013 to February 2017. Government told the National Assembly that the money, which was collected for over 4 years was shared between the Treasury (56 billion) and the Commission for Science and Technology (6 billion). The funds sent to COSTECH was for financing various researches that are for national benefits.

As a result, Parliament wanted to haveupdates on operations of the TTMS since installation and amount collected so far. Government responded by saying that TTMS, which was installed in 2013 and is implemented by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) provides the authority with technological solutions required to measure and analyze key aspects of the sector in an independent way, with a view of ensuring both regulatory compliance and the exhaustive collection of levies by the State.

Government also said that it will continue building capacity among experts at TCRA, for the Organization to keep up with technological advancement in the world.

Source:   http://mobilemoneyafrica.com/content.php?id=3371&mc_cid=79f2200329&mc_eid=71c1e2d3e7

 

Ghana: Telco Companies to Pay Salaries via Mobile Money

Some Telecom players in Ghana have indicated their readiness to pay their workers in the country through the mobile money platforms. They indicated that just as Mobile Money is used in Kenya to pay salaries, with the right infrastructure, Ghanaians could enjoy the same benefits.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the matter, the CEO of Vodafone Ghana and Chairman of the Chamber of Telecommunications, Yolanda Cuba said payment of salaries through mobile money would help the government in its agenda to achieve financial inclusion.

She also said employers could equally pay their workers through mobile money as another way to drive financial inclusion.

Source: http://mobilemoneyafrica.com/content.php?id=3376&mc_cid=e0cf298529&mc_eid=71c1e2d3e7

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