The BCEAO takes strategic measures to boost e-payment

Tuesday, 07 April 2020 18:17
The BCEAO takes strategic measures to boost e-payment

(Togo First) - As its member States struggle against the Coronavirus crisis, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) has taken many steps to reduce physical contact and foster prevention measures. 

On April 3, the lender introduced new measures to enhance digital transactions instead of hand-to-hand cash exchange. The measures are effective for 30 days, renewable.  

No more fees for all minor transactions

The first of the measures concern digital money transfers. Local money transfers involving a sum equal or below XOF5,000 are free. This stands for mobile money, wire transfers, and e-wallet transactions. In Togo for example, last week, mobile operator Togocel announced that all transactions on its TMoney mobile money platform were free. Its direct competitor Moov did the same as instructed by the ministry of communication and the central bank. 

Fees exemption for water and electricity bills 

Similarly, no fees will be charged for water and power bills paid via mobile money, for bills whose amount is equal or lower than XOF50,000. 

Incentives for digital commercial transactions 

Traders accepting mobile money payments no longer have to pay commission to mobile operators since April 3rd. Based on how things progress, the measure could be extended after the 30 days, according to the BCEAO. 

Regarding fees charged for business transactions conducted using the GIM-UEMOA card, they have been halved (-50%) for sellers. This also aims at pushing the latter to adopt e-payment solutions. 

Withdrawal and transfer fees at ATMs cut by 50%

The BCEAO said it will no longer cash in its share of fees charged on wire transfers. It has therefore cut by 50% fees for wire transfers processed through its compensation system, SICA-UEMOA. 

In the same vein, costs for withdrawals at any ATM that is part of the GIM-UEMOA network have also been halved. The central bank has in this framework instructed commercial banks operating in the region to ensure sufficient cash supplies to the ATMs. 

E-wallet creation and transactions made easier 

Issuers of electronic money are allowed to proceed to transactions using mobile data, as long as approval from the sender is obtained, a remote identification process is done and within fixed regulatory transaction limits, the BCEAO said.  

Moreover, it is possible to open an e-wallet using only a phone number. 

Fiacre E. Kakpo

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