Ooredoo Increasing Focus on Mobile Money with New Microfinance Initiatives

479Ooredoo continues to expand the range of mobile money services available across its footprint, with the launch of microfinance programmes in Tunisia and Indonesia.

Currently, Ooredoo manages more than one million transactions per month in Qatar, Tunisia and Indonesia, and has seen particularly strong growth in Indonesia in 2014. The company has plans in place to launch services in Iraq and Myanmar in the coming months.

Using this base of experience, Ooredoo is looking to expand its mobile money portfolio with the launch of innovative new services. In Tunisia, working with La Poste Tunisienne and Taysir Microfinance, Ooredoo has developed a complete solution for mobile microfinance. Based on Ooredoo’s successful Mobiflouss service, this solution enables customers to receive funds on a SMART card and repay the money directly from their mobile.

Globally, more than 2.5 billion people in lower to middle income countries lack access to financial services, but 1.7 billion of these people have a mobile phone, providing existing infrastructure that can be used to sustainably offer financial services.

Microfinance is seen as an important mechanism for providing funding sources for people who don’t have access to traditional banking services. By deploying mobile technology, Ooredoo is making the process easier, more convenient and more secure.

With the new Tunisia service, once the microcredit is granted, Taysir Microfinance transfers loans directly to customers, who can then make loan repayments directly from their mobile phone without having to visit an office.

Ooredoo’s Indosat in Indonesia has launched two microfinance pilot programmes: one with e-mitra to provide loans for women, to enable them to launch their own businesses and support their communities, and one with BTPN Bank that provides Shariah-compliant loans for people in rural areas.

Indosat has also partnered with two insurance companies, Adira and CIGNA, to offer micro personal insurance to customers on a trial basis. More than 10,000 customers have registered over two months, demonstrating strong demand for mobile insurance as a new market.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo said: “Ooredoo aims to support human growth and enable our customers to fulfil their potential and pursue their ambitions. Mobile Money has been one of oursuccess stories in recent years and we believe that we are well-positioned to launch an enhanced range of services that will directly support our customers’ economic activities. In addition, we believe that we can build upon our work in Qatar, Tunisia and Indonesia to launch in new markets, such as Iraq and Myanmar.”

A major area of focus for Ooredoo is developing a strong ecosystem for mobile money, by supporting e-commerce, microinsurance and microfinancing services. In addition, the company is working hard to deliver Mobile Money Interoperability, to enable customers to manage and access money across borders and devices in a seamless environment.

In May 2014, Ooredoo committed to the GSMA’s Mobile Money Interoperability programme to accelerate the implementation of interoperable mobile money services across Africa and the Middle East.The programme encourages operators to launch and scale interoperable mobile money services through identifying and sharing best practices, creating performance benchmarks, and providing regulatory support.

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