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Africell repositions AfriMoney as part of growth strategy

By , ITWeb
Africa , 08 Sep 2020

Mobile money service AfriMoney has been relaunched on what the company claims is a faster and more secure platform, with a wider range of services, as its operator Africell looks to expand in the DRC, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Uganda.

The service, which has been fully rebranded after formerly being known as Africell Money, allows customers to send funds to individuals and organisations on any network, including recipients without phones, using a unique code.

According to Africell it has invested substantially in expanding the service, including migrating AfriMoney to the Comviva platform.

In a statement the company said as part of its expansion, it will be increasing the range of services available through AfriMoney, such as international remittance, PayGo services such as home solar, merchant payments, integrations with local banks and other bill payment providers.

“Mobile money continues to act as the primary driver of financial inclusion across the continent, offering affordable and inclusive financial services to the previously unbanked and directly contributing to seven of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Africell, which is committed to positive social impact within the communities it serves, is working closely with local and international NGOs to increase the scale and effectiveness of its services and is also disbursing humanitarian funds to the disadvantaged through AfriMoney,” reads an excerpt from the statement.

Ziad Dalloul, CEO and Chairman of Africell Group, said: “Mobile money is integral to Africell’s growth strategy, which is why we will be rolling out our expanded AfriMoney service across Uganda, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and DRC over the next two months, and eventually into Angola. The move is part of our commitment to supporting the development of our communities by investing in technology and services that help address key social and economic issues.”

Dalloul added: “Mobile money helps to create jobs and build skills, which is why it is one of the most effective and efficient ways of addressing financial inclusion in Africa.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for such services as governments, businesses and individuals look for swift, secure, and contactless ways of sending money and buying goods and services.”

According the GSMA, there were 50 million new mobile money accounts registered in sub-Saharan Africa last year, and it forecasts that account adoption across Sub-Saharan Africa will surpass the half billion mark by the end of 2020.

However, the organisation also released a report The Causes and Consequences of Mobile Money Taxation, an examination of Mobile Transactions Taxes in Sub-Saharan Africa, in which it asserts that certain taxes on mobile money transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa have had a distortionary impact on the demand for-and growth of mobile money services in the region.

The report discusses the negative impact of mobile money tax in Uganda, Malawi, Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast.

Andy Widmann, Head of AfriMoney at Africell Group, said “AfriMoney’s migration to Comviva is a first step in our commitment to expanding our mobile money offering and the further development of the Fintech ecosystem in our markets.

“Through the launch of Comviva and the planned initiatives such as the release of a developer portal and sandbox, the adoption of the GSMA’s Mobile Money API’s, hosting developer bootcamps, and incubating local start-ups, AfriMoney will become a platform on which partners can easily integrate to offer new innovative products and services to the previously underserved, while fostering the development the local tech communities in our markets.”

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