Tunisia became the latest country to introduce interoperability between rival mobile money services, with the functionality set to be expanded to traditional financial institutions.
Tunisia money operators launch interoperability
Mobile operators Ooredoo Tunisia, Tunisia Telecom and Orange Tunisia all offer money services in the country and – in one of a number of measures included in the government’s Digital Tunisia 2020 initiative – customers of the three are now able to seamlessly transfer cash.
A statement from Tunisia Telecom confirmed its interoperability brand TelecoMoney launched earlier this week and was able to transfer funds to other mobile wallet providers. A second phase is scheduled to incorporate transfer to other financial institutions.
Mobile money interoperability is a policy long highlighted by the GSMA as a driver to boost adoption and increase financial inclusion, yet many countries have been slow to introduce the requirement.
However, 2018 could prove to be a watershed year with operators in Kenya introducing transfers between brands from market leader Safaricom and Airtel following a four month trial. Preparations are also being made to bring Telkom Kenya’s T-Kash into the scheme.
The introduction of the service follows a period of pressure from regulators in Kenya.
Kenya’s breakthrough follows a measure by Tanzanian authorities to expand its existing interoperability policy, while regulators in Ghana are working on the development of a common platform for operators, which is expected to go live in May.