By leveraging eMoney Solutions on Ingenico Group smart terminals, the Niger Poste agents are enabled to send money or pay bills quickly and securely for customers at the market lowest rate. The simplicity of the user experience drove the success of this program by attracting more clients in the post branches. Thanks to Niger Poste, access to financial services has become easy and universal regardless of the area people live in; a nice story illustrating the power of Financial Inclusion.
In Africa, most people do not have a bank account, and there is not a large network of bank branches. People therefore had to use archaic methods to make financial transactions: intercity taxis or relatively insecure informal networks. Thanks to eMoney Solutions easily implemented on Ingenico Group terminals, we have been able to provide fast and secure transactions to our customers. Today, the number of money transfers has strongly increased so have Niger Poste’s incomes.
An evolving market context that increases competition
As of 2005, Niger opened the postal services market to new players, resulting in several national operators in competition with the historical Niger Poste. With the development of ICT, substitutes to the traditional mailing system have also added to the existing competition.
As a result, the Niger Poste had to identify new growth levers while leveraging its strong network of postal offices. Offering new value-added services to serve the Financial Inclusion purpose has been the trigger to increase its customer base, to improve its revenue, and better serve its customers by meeting their daily needs.
Financial needs that remain unmet
The majority of the African population is excluded from the traditional banking system for various reasons. Most of the available solutions were not adapted to domestic money transfer of small amounts. This use case, very common in Africa, was costly and time consuming as it involves high commission rates and travel over long distances. In the same way, bill payment was an equally arduous task, with lengthy payment processing times and a lack of available transaction points.
So, electronic payment and remote transfer solutions are starting to emerge to meet these needs. However, prior to access the service, consumers are asked to enroll and charge their account well ahead of the transaction, the very opposite of the “live from day-to-day” culture prevalent in most African countries, where payments are made at the last minute.
At a glance
A solution driving the adoption of financial services step by step
The solution, designed for Niger Poste by Ingenico Group and eMoney Solutions, arose from the company’s desire to bring new services to its clients. The target segment, mostly unbanked, faces a great difficulty to access financial services on a daily basis.
Leveraging its proximity, the post office offers a large range of financial services. The agents, who initiate the transaction, can take customers through the process step by step, which helps build trust in the service. They engage with the unbanked and help them get onboard in the financial ecosystem.
The agents’ trustworthiness clearly boosted the Niger Post credibility as a key Financial Inclusion enabler. Familiar with electronic transactions, customers are now looking forward to the coming services.
An easy-to-integrate and to-use technology
The eMoney Solutions platform is integrated with Ingenico smart terminals. The transaction model is fast and secure. It simply requires few steps to be completed: the agent enters the beneficiary’s name, which generates a secret transaction code. Funds are made instantly available at any approved transfer point or on the biller’s back-office. The interactions behind the scenes are completed in few seconds allowing the agent to fulfill his role in the most convenient way.
A simple user experience attracting new customers
To pay bills or send money, the customer goes the Niger Poste office and asks the agent to initiate the transaction for him. Once the cash handed, the agent completes the transaction simply through the smart terminal. The customer has no need to go through a complicated user experience and does not need to enroll in the program; a sort of “Pay & Go” service that becomes attractive to all customer segments whether they are banked or unbanked.
The real appetite among Niger’s population for these solutions has been outstanding. The project has positioned eMoney Solutions and Ingenico Group as a unique service provider that meets market and consumer demands in Africa well into the future.
An affordable service benefitting the local community
The offer focuses on the transfer of small amounts and bill payments at lowest commission rates. Customers can now enjoy the benefits of the solution which does not penalize those who send small amounts, unlike the usual money transfer method based a fixed commission charge, regardless of the amount sent.
On the transportation side, in Niger, traveling to the branch in the city is challenging because of the limited infrastructure. Niger Poste gives people a quick and secure access to the service by simply going to the closest location: the post office.
Niger Poste is the governmental organization responsible for the postal service in Niger. It is a historical company in this country, in activity for more than 60 years. Challenged by the opening of the market to competition in 2005, Niger Poste has managed to stay on top of the game: it succeeded in innovating and offering new services well-adapted to its market.
eMoney Solutions specializes in providing solutions to merchants, post agents and banks, in particular by deepening Financial Inclusion across Africa, a continent with a notoriously high level of un(der)banked populations. With African subsidiaries in the Ivory Coast, Benin, Cameroon and elsewhere, its solutions facilitate a range of financial transactions, from money transfers and bill payments to banking services and online payments. eMoney Solutions offers an attractive pricing strategy in line with its main objective: enabling all individuals to access the financial services which are often limited to a privileged customer segment.