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MTN Cameroon in cashless drive to curb Coronavirus spread

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 20 Mar 2020
MTN Cameroon confirms suspension of charges on mobile money transactions amid growing concern over Coronavirus.
MTN Cameroon confirms suspension of charges on mobile money transactions amid growing concern over Coronavirus.

MTN Cameroon has suspended charges on mobile money transactions within its network for a period of one month, beginning 20 March 2020.

The management of the largest telco in Cameroon said the move is part of its response to the Coronavirus global health crisis.

Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health announced on 20 March that the number of positive Coronavirus cases registered in the country had increased to 20, up from 13 two days earlier.

Over 246,000 people have been infected globally by the virus, with 10,049 deaths so far, according to data from multiple sources, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to MTN officials, the suspension of payment of fees for money transfers will only apply for transaction not exceeding FCFA 20,000 (circa US$32), and will be limited to three transactions per day for each account.

The company did add that the conditions may be revised based of the evolution of the health crisis.

“MTN Cameroon, by suspending the payment of money transfer fees between Mobile Money accounts, seeks to provide its support in the fight against this Coronavirus, by reducing the use of cash as much as possible, and favouring distance payments,” the telco stated.

The management of MTN Cameroon sees mobile money as a key response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the payment option does not require the use of cash - a possible vector for spreading the virus.

Hendrik Kasteel, MTN Cameroon's Chief Executive Officer said: “We are doing everything in our power to ensure that they (MTN customers) remain connected and in touch with their loved ones. We are equally working to provide them with solutions that facilitate their daily lives as much as possible. Mobile Money is one of these solutions. We encourage companies and Cameroonians to take full advantage of this solution to better handle the current situation.”

MTN MoMo last January obtained the GSMA Mobile Money certification for its conformity to best practices in the sector. While returning to growth in 2019, after four years of decline, MTN Cameroon recorded circa 8 million MoMo subscribers.

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