Tech win energises Cameroon’s drive to unify Fintech ecosystem
Cameroon has received official go-ahead from the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) to proceed with rollout of its National Payment Switch Infrastructure (NPSI) to serve as a unified gateway for mobile financial services.
This is after the Bank had already approved payment interoperability in the Central African sub-region via Interbank Electronic Banking Group of Central Africa (GIMAC).
The NPSI is hosted by Cameroon Postal Service (Campost), with technical assistance from global electronic and mobile payment solution provider eTranzact PLC.
Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng said the government wants to interconnect all digital financial services providers in a common payment ecosystem.
She said the payment gateway will enable the traceability and storage of data in order to collect taxes on all digital financial transactions, and will also reduce the costs of transactions and delivery of value-added electronic communications services.
The platform offers both API and USSD gateways simultaneously.
Georges Mpoudi Ngole from Camtel said since most current mobile payment services are app-based (mainly Android and a few iOS), and the country’s current smartphone penetration rate is well below 50%, USSD is the best way to extend digital inclusion.
Windfred Mfuh, Technical Adviser No.2 in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, added that switch infrastructure will authenticate, authorise and dynamise the switching transaction flows, bringing together value-added telecommunications providers and users in multichannel interface and gateway.
CEO of eTranzact Valentine Obi said: “With a single punch, we have automatic access to all the other platforms. It will reduce cost, bring a lot of security and open the door for start-ups to be able to commence their businesses without having to put out a lot of funds trying to put out their own platforms.”