CEMAC: With 64.8% of accounts and 73.1% of transactions, Cameroon confirms its leadership in the mobile money market in 2020

(Business in Cameroon) – In 2020, 30.1 million mobile money accounts were active in the CEMAC zone, according to the Bank of Central African States (BEAC). In its recent report entitled “Electronic Money Payment Services in Cemac in 2020”, the BEAC reveals that this figure represents a 21% year-over-year increase in the number of active mobile money accounts.

Considered as the economic power of CEMAC, Cameroon represented 64.8% (19.5 million) of the total active accounts over the period, therefore the leader in this market. Cameroon has nearly three times the number of mobile money accounts held by Congolese (7.1 million) and nearly ten times the number of accounts held by Gabonese (2.7 million).

The BEAC explains that during the period under review, Cameroon confirmed its leadership on the CEMAC electronic payment market by recording the highest number of transactions. “Regarding the number of transactions, payment service providers operating in Cameroon represented 73.13% of the workforce registered in the community. [CEMAC]Explains the report.

Even though it had fewer active mobile money accounts than Congo, Gabon was second behind Cameroon in terms of number of transactions, with 16.7% of total mobile money transactions recorded in the region. in 2020 while the Congo represented 9.25%. Globally, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo accounted for 99% of the number of active mobile money accounts in the CEMAC region in 2020 and 98.8% of the value of transactions.

Financial inclusion

According to data compiled by the BEAC, since 2016, when mobile money services entered the CEMAC region, the number of operators has not changed much. From 11 in 2016 and 2017, it rose to 13 in 2018 and then to 16 in 2019. However, the number of accounts opened has increased rapidly. From 12.6 million in 2016, it increased by 21.8% in 5 years to reach 30.1 million on December 30, 2020.

At the same time, the value of transactions rose from XAF 1,631.7 billion in 2016 to over XAF 14,822 billion at the end of December 2020. This means that on average XAF 40.6 billion of mobile money was processed. daily in 2020 against 31 billion XAF. in 2019, a growth of 30.96% year-on-year.

Until the end of 2018, the issuance and management of electronic money could only be achieved through a partnership between commercial banks and mobile operators. However, since January 1, 2019, regulations now allow the emergence of new players who are no longer required to associate with commercial banks. These players are now classified as payment institutions ”, indicates the BEAC. The central bank thus forecasts a good outlook for soft money, presented as “a real catalyst for financial inclusion and digital development or the digitization of payments and ultimately contributing to the development of African economies. ”

Brice R. Mbodiam

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