Regulations in the West African Economic and Monetary Union have enabled mobile money providers to double their agent networks since 2014, while restricting banks and microfinance institutions. Better regulations would create a level playing field and expand financial inclusion.
The mobile money market in Cote d’Ivoire has boasted impressive acceleration in terms of registered customers, but the number of transaction points in the distribution networks has also seen tremendous growth.
This is the third post in our series on interoperability and related issues in branchless banking and mobile money. Read the first post that presented the overall framework for the discussion and the second post that looked at the interconnection of mobile money platforms. Today, we discuss interoperability at the agent level as it relates to agent exclusivity. We include agent exclusivity in the topic of interoperability because it raises many of the same issues as platform interoperability.
Access to finance in WAEMU is very low, even by comparison to other regions of Africa. The rate of bancarization announced by the BCEAO in December 2010 was 9.5% and 12.7% of the population had an account with an MFI.
There’s been news of several new mobile money launches over the last few weeks. Digicel in Haiti has just launched its TchoTcho Mobile service. Its main competitor Voila has launched its service for use by relief organizations throughout the country.
We’ve been saying for awhile that mobile money will be less compelling in places where good alternatives to cash already exist, for example, in developed markets such as North America. Despite that, the folks who look after how payments get cleared has opened a door for mobile.
Côte d’Ivoire has seen its mobile money industry make significant progress in recent years. The latest results from the sector suggest good prospects moving forward. At the end of Q3 2012, there were 2.6 million registered mobile money clients across all providers in the market. This post explores the recent market dynamic in this west African country.