Expresso Telecom Group (ETG) and Etisalat’s Emirates Data Clearing House (EDCH) have announced the imminent launch of a new suite of mobile financial services for its customers in West Africa; Senegal, Mauritania and Guinea Conakry.
ETG’s rollout of mobile financial services is aimed at improving financial inclusion levels, providing a complete system for the unbanked, and also delivering non-traditional transformational services to the banked population and businesses requiring more flexible services.
EDCH's award-winning mobile financial services systems have been deployed across Etisalat and Maroc Telecom subsidiaries in more than 14 countries.
ETG will be providing customers with a variety of services including m-wallets (cash-in, cash-out services); m-payments (merchants, utility, transportation, etc); money transfer (domestic and international remittances); bank accounts/payment cards management; secure access and ticketing; and merchant payment acceptance (mobile cashier).
Customers will also be able to use the ETG’s mobile financial services outside the ETG network, for example, they will be able to recharge their mobile accounts via other networks when they are abroad.
ETG is anticipating that the ability to transfer money between countries will be very popular due to the widespread diaspora in West Africa and growing cross-border trade.
In its “Mobile Money: Lessons for West Africa” briefing published in March 2016, the International Growth Centre, wrote : “the speed and scale of mobile money take-up in East Africa has been unprecedented and the impact considerable,” however: “ While mobile phone penetration is increasing in West Africa, the region has far lower levels of financial inclusion and mobile money usage than East Africa…Cross-border remittance capability is of particular importance in West Africa as it has the potential to boost regional cross-border trade.”
Eng. Tarig Zain Elabdein, chairman of ETG said: “We know that the majority of our customers in West Africa are unbanked. We are investing heavily in our mobile money service because it will help them better manage their finances, save and invest.
“Our partnership with EDCH provides us with a market-proven back-end that will enable us to roll out the service rapidly over the next few months. Together we will ensure that the people of West Africa have the tools needed for sustained economic growth - and that this region has the capability to be Africa’s gateway to the world.”
Nasser Salim, CEO of EDCH, said: “ETG will help West Africa emulate the success of mobile financial services across East Africa. ETG’s customers and regulatory bodies can be assured that our systems have been developed to address all security and identity issues.”