An integrated electronic payment service known as GIMACPAY has been introduced in all six countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, CEMAC. The countries include Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.

The platform, which allows for the interoperability of mobile money and banking services in the concerned countries, went into effect on 10 July 2020, according to a press release announcing the development, published in Cameroon’s state-run daily tabloid, Cameroon Tribune, on 21 July 2020.

The service has been rolled out by the Central African Interbank Electronic Payment Organization (GIMAC), with the backing of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC).

GIMACPAY allows interoperability of mobile and banking operations among the institutions integrated in the ecosystem.

GIMACPAY will ensure easy interoperability of banking and mobile transactions

The launch of GIMACPAY – an integrated card and mobile money transfer ecosystem – comes after a trial phase of more than six months which saw the participation of 14 banking and electronic money companies within the sub-region. During the pilot phase, more than 100, 000 (one hundred thousand) mobile transactions were treated for a cumulative amount of XAF 1.7 billion (about $ ), according to GIMAC officials. Issues of efficiency, security, and confidentiality of transactions of the system were also tested.

The banking and mobile money companies in the GIMACPAY ecosystem include BGFI Bank Gabon, BICEC, UBA, Airtel Gabon, Orange Cameroun, MTN Cameroon, TERRAPAY, NFC Bank, BSCA Bank, CCA Bank, Express Union, CCEI Bank, CBC, and MAVIANCE.

According to the Director-General of GIMAC, Valentin Mbozo’o, GIMACPAY is a service that is intended to facilitate “interoperable mobile and banking transactions for the benefit of the population of the CEEMAC region.”

“People within the CEMAC region will be able to use the financial services of these institutions to transfer money from one mobile account operator to another, or a bank account, and vice versa. They can also purchase goods and services from affiliated merchants, do cardless withdrawals on ATMs, as well as receive international transfers into their mobile money accounts or bank accounts,” the GIMAC statement explained.

“The system also gives room for payments using QR code - for water and electricity bills, TV bouquet subscriptions, and telephone airtime top-ups,” GIMAC’s Director-General said in an interview to Cameroon Tribune.

The organization says the putting in place of the GIMACPAY platform is part of its financial inclusion goal which aims to “extend its network by integrating all the actors of electronic payment within the CEMAC region in the short term.”

GIMAC says to date, the integrated electronic payment service, which will soon be extended to the entire continent, already has 18 million mobile account users and about 800, 000 (eight hundred thousand) GIMAC and international bank card users. The service can also be used by non-holders of banks or mobile money accounts.

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