By Ndumbe Bell Gaston In Douala
Africa’s two largest mobile operators known for their mobile money transfers have created and launched an interactive network platform common to them and other financial partners like banks, in order to facilitate mobile money transfer from one operator’s account through to another consumer account loyal to another operator or provider without the fears of being sactioned or intimidated by either provider at the speed of light at negligible cost.
Called Mowali (or mobile wallet interoperability) the digital payment infrastructure connects financial service providers and customers in a click in one inclusive network and functions like a central post office or industrial service accessible to any mobile money provider in Africa, banks, mobile money, and other financial service providers.
Mowali will bring together 100 million mobile money accounts from the two mobile money operators Orange and MTN in 22 Sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 markets. Beyond MTN and Orange operations and markets, Mowali will allow inter-operability to support the existing 338 million mobile money accounts in Africa.
According to MTN’s recent November release “the objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants; to enable money to circulate freely between mobile money accounts from any operators in all countries (which was not the case in the past), meaning that one can pay or receive money anywhere from one’s mobile account regardless of one’s operator.” This they add, will further unlock innovation in the digital financial space within the continent.
Stephane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange Cameroun further intimated that “by providing full inter-operability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa. Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities. This solution embodies Orange’s ambition to be a leading player in the digital transformation of the continent. By joining forces with another of Africa’s market leaders MTN, we aim to accelerate the pace of this transformation in a way that will change the lives of our customers by providing them with simpler, safer and more advantageous services.”