Express Union to Lead International Cashless Remittances in West and Central Africa with Its EU Mobile after BCEAO and BEAC Kick against Telco Operators Remitting out of WAEMU and CEMAC

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.

In West Africa, for example, Orange Money obtained 3 licenses in March 2016 from BCEAO to provide electronic money transfers in Mali, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire but the licenses did not cover international transfers in foreign currency. After BCEAO temporarily suspended Orange Money’s international transactions, BEAC in turn, sent a warning to the Telco operators remitting out of the CEMAC zone to foreign corridors since the said operators do not have a legal authorization from the Central Bank.

According to the regulators, if measures are not taken to control and secure the activity, there are high chances of exposure to risks such as: money laundering, tax evasion and, even, the funding of terrorism.

The temporal suspension of cross-border Orange Money services from West Africa to France has, no doubt, interrupted consumer activities and, by extension, the profit margin of the Telco operator given that Mobile Money, in recent years, has become a major driving factor of financial inclusion in Africa.

In light of the current situation, the eventual ousting of Telco operators from the international remittance scene shall provide a great chance for the traditional international operators including: Western Union, MoneyGram, Sigue, Ria, Express Union International, etc. to regain the market and make hay.

Most importantly, the ousting of international Mobile Money in Central and West Africa shall also constitute a huge opportunity for Express Union, who’s a reckoning remittance force in these regions, to lead international cashless remittances both through its market coverage (about 1000 POS worldwide) and its digital solution EU Mobile. Given that Express Union has the authorization to remit in/out of WAEMU, CEMAC and Europe via Express Union International (EUI), it could also connect foreign EUI transactions to local EU Mobile accounts and bridge the gap which an eventual suspension of the Telco operators shall create.

Nevertheless, for this market take-over to happen, Express Union would be obliged to review the competitiveness of EU Mobile as opposed to benefits offered by the Telco operators. In the CEMAC zone for instance, the Telco operators providing international Mobile Money services have a strong market presence with an extensive POS network, offer low prices, instant transactions and security – implying that mobile money consumers are attracted by low fees, speed and the convenience of sending instant remittances from the apps or websites directly to their recipients.





Emi Money Opens 28 Sunday-Remittance-Counters in Cameroon

Emi Money has launched the provision of remittance services on Sundays from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M. at 28 of its POS nationwide. The launch of these Sunday counters comes after Express Exchange launched its Sunday services at 11 of its branches in the North West and South West regions in Cameroon on 5 February 2017.

The mentioned Sunday Remittance 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.

The operation of these Emi Money Sunday counters shall enable the operator to be more available to its consumers and thus, fully face the eminent market competition posed by its top competitors including Express Union and Express Exchange.

Emi Money has over 200 POS in Cameroon and offers the least expensive remittance services (sends from 0 – 5,000 FCFA for 250 FCFA). Moreover, Emi Money customers can also remit or pay their utility bills using the EU Mobile platform.  




West Africa: 13 Winners Announced for the CashlessAfrica Awards 2017

At the conclusion of the 6th Edition of the CashlessAfrica Conference and Expo which saw over 35 speakers from 30 countries gathered to address “The Future of Finance” in Lagos, the economic hub of Nigeria from 22 – 23 March 2017, 13 cashless service providers were announced as winners of the CashlessAfrica Awards 2017.

The event which was organized by Mobile Money Africa was sponsored, this year, by the MasterCard, the leading digital payment solution provider.

Upon the announcement of the winners, Mr. Emmanuel Okoegwale, Principal Associate of MobileMoneyAfrica said: “We congratulate all the award winners and it is our sincere hope that the honor will inspire better innovation in 2017 and beyond”.

The winning categories ranged from “Financial inclusion product of the Year” won by WorldRemit to “Remittance start-up of the Year” won by PingExpress.

The CashlessAfrica awards honor organizations that have made significant contributions to the digital financial services sector and are poised to make considerable market impact in the future. The Awards are dedicated to acknowledging creativity, commitment and excellence in the digital financial services across Africa.



Kenya: Kenyans in the Diaspora Lead the Digitization of International Money Transfers            

As M-PESA celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its mobile money service, WorldRemit released new data showing that Kenyans in the diaspora are the biggest senders of digital remittances to mobile accounts.

WorldRemit’s low priced, fast and safe service accounts for the significant adoption of mobile money by Kenyans home and abroad…  transfers to mobile money accounts make up 93% of WorldRemit transactions to Kenya now.

According to WorldRemit, her customers transferred more than $140m (at annualized rate) to Kenya, making WorldRemit one of the largest remittance companies serving the Kenyan diaspora.

Drawing from the Central Bank of Kenya, remittances play an important role in Kenya’s economy – inward remittances reached a record value of just under $161m in November 2016.

Globally, WorldRemit customers send more than 580,000 transfers every month to over 140 destinations.Top remittance-sending countries are the UK, Australia, US, Germany, Canada and Nordic countries. WorldRemit is now connected to over a fifth of all mobile money accounts - 112 million of 500 million mobile money accounts around the world. 74% of all international remittances to mobile money accounts coming from money transfer operators are sent via WorldRemit. WorldRemit makes sending money as easy as sending an instant message.  


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