CAMEROON – Viettel Cameroon SA, a privately-owned mobile telecommunications network service provider which operates under the brand name Nexttel, is set to enter the mobile money market in the country.
The market is already dominated by MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroun which run MTN MoMo and Orange Money respectively.
Nexttel General Manager Benoit Yaoussou announced recently that they will roll out their own mobile money service called Nexttel Possa before the end of 2021.
Yaoussou said the company will also prioritise the extension and stabilisation of its network. Nexttel already covers over 75%of the national territory, particularly rural areas.
Nexttel Possa has been in development since March 2018, when the MNO’s partner – United Bank for Africa (UBA) Cameroon – secured authorisation from the central bank to delve into the mobile money market.
But the project was held back following a drawn-out managerial crisis at Nexttel related to the company’s procurement of telecommunications hardware, transfers of technology, signature for financial transactions, and engagement of foreign partners.
Nexttel and its partner UBA Cameroon will target all segments of the population with Possa and are more concerned with the level of appreciation of the service to be offered by their platform than by the number/volume of subscribers in the first three months of the launch.
Nexttel and UBA Cameroon have not disclosed how much funds they will invest into this project.
However, Central African Banking Commission (COBAC) regulations make it obligatory for payment services providers to have a minimum capital of 500 million Francs CFA (US$a0.92m).
According to DATAREPORTAL, there were 23.62 million mobile connections in Cameroon in 2020.
MTN claims that by the end of 2019 approximately 8 million of these connections were MoMo subscribers.
With about 5 million subscribers, Nexttel is ahead of state-owned Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel), but behind MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroun.