Cameroon, Mobile Money: Extra Regulation Mechanisms Envisaged

Cameroun - Economie. Cameroon, Mobile Money: Extra Regulation Mechanisms Envisaged

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The Telecommunications Regulatory Board is hiring a consultancy firm to study the sector and map out control systems report CT.

Observation on the ground shows Mobile Financial Services (MFS) are gaining grounds in Cameroon with telecommunications companies registering several millions of users. Statistics from the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB) show the early comers into the business, MTN and Orange, had bagged as many as 5.4 million users by the end of 2016; 2.8 million clients for Orange Money and 2.6 million customers for MTN Mobile Money.

From 2011 when the mobile transactions were launched to 2014, the volume of financial transactions carried out on mobile accounts in Cameroon had already hit FCFA 72 billion.
This far, partnerships have been signed with other financial institutions, bringing in new players such as Nexttel Cameroon, Afriland First Bank, UBA bank and Express Union, among others.

The contribution of these services (currently regulated by the Banking Commission for Central Africa, COBAC) to the development of the digital economy cannot be undermined. They have facilitated online businesses, payment of bills, money transfer transactions, school fee payments and registration for examination, just to name but these.

Despite the COBAC regulations at the regional level, there seem to be a growing need for local policies, especially as charges telecom companies levy on transactions appear to be set and modified depending on the whims and caprices of the companies involved.

The TRB, in response to the seeming disorder is in the process of hiring a consultancy firm to complete a study on the development and regulation of mobile financial services in Cameroon. The findings of the study would give a clear picture of the Mobile Financial Services (MFS) available in the country, the value chain, the activities of companies in the sector, its risks to customers and the economy among other things, and propose an adequate statutory framework to control activities in the sector.

Mobile money services provided by telecom companies enabling citizens to send, receive, and save money using their mobile phone is however only a subset of MFS. Other Mobile Financial Services include savings, loans, investments, insurance among others.

MBOM Sixtus

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