Digital finance in Senegal is dominated by over-the-counter transactions which hampers the development of a digital finance ecosystem. Since MM4P’s entry with a small team of experts in 2015, there has been a surge in usage of digital wallets and, to a lesser degree, agent banking.
While the market is dynamic and features a large and growing number of non-exclusive agents, it has limited interoperability and services. The central bank, BCEAO (Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest), issued new and better regulatory instructions for e-money issuers in May 2015. However, there are still opportunities for improvement, particularly in regard to know-your-customer requirements, interoperability, agent banking, customer protection, market conduct and supervision.
MM4P launched the public-private Digital Finance Services Working Group and, in partnership with CGAP and others, continues to support the central bank in considering additional enabling policies. MM4P is working with several providers to understand and adopt better practices for agent management, and to extend the rural outreach.
In partnership with YouthStart, MM4P is helping youth to set up their business as agents, while supporting the development of digital second-generation services such as savings and credit. MM4P is also connecting microfinance institutions to the digital ecosystem. In partnership with the Better then Cash Alliance, MM4P is supporting both national and local public entities in digitizing payments.
MM4P initiated its work in Senegal in partnership with MasterCard Foundation