The Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) launched, Tuesday, June 21, 2022, the first mobile payment solution in Tunisia to which seven public and private Tunisian banks have joined. This will strengthen financial inclusion and democratize digital transactions in the country.
During the launch ceremony, the governor of the BCT, Marouane Abassi specified that this solution will offer several services, including the deposit and withdrawal of cash, the transfer of funds, in addition to payment operations for commercial transactions.
Said solution is intended, essentially, for anyone with an electronic wallet (wallet) that accepts transactions via mobile. This solution also targets merchants with a QR code or a TPE to interact with the wallet.
This project enriches the ecosystem of payments by deploying a mobile payment infrastructure with significant potential for wide penetration and democratization for the benefit of financial inclusion, underlined Mr. Abassi, specifying that this solution will make it possible, among other things, to manage cash transfers by promoting the integration of part of the liquidities of the informal sector into the formal one
It should be noted that this ceremony was marked by the signing of an agreement with seven public and private banks, namely the National Agricultural Bank (BNA), BH Bank, Amen Bank, the Union Bancaire pour le Commerce et l’Industrie ( UBCI), Attijari Bank, Bank of Tunisia and Emirates (BTE) and Zitouna.
Digital payments exempt from VAT
Mr. Abassi called, in this context, the other financial institutions to accelerate their adherence to this national solution to democratize the use of mobile payment, recalling that within the framework of the finance law for the financial year 2022, digital payments are exempt from VAT.
For his part, the Minister of Communication Technologies, Nizar Ben Neji noted that mobile payment is both an advantage and a major challenge that must be met, citing as examples the lack of digital culture, the cost devices, terminals and Internet access. He, in the same context, said that 6 million people do not have smart devices.
He also mentioned the reluctance to use digital services, in particular transactions calling for the establishment of trust and the development of cyber-vigilance.
He indicated in this context that his department will play the role of facilitator and will provide its expertise to the various actors and operators within the framework of the mobile payment project.
Major asset in the decashing strategy
The managing director of Société Monétique de Tunisie (SMT), Bilel Darnaoui recalled that the solution in question, which represents a major asset in the financial inclusion and decashing strategy, is 100% Tunisian. For the manager, this solution, which embodies the contribution of the banking sector and microfinance institutions to the efforts of public authorities, will allow the reduction of transaction costs.
According to the BCT, the main advantages of using the wallet are the ease of access and use, the availability of the service 24/24 and 7/7 days, the instantaneousness of the movement of funds, the transparency of data and relatively low pricing.
The wallet can be funded by a payment from the banking institution, the transfer received from another wallet or a transfer received from an account and by bank or postal card. Transactions via wallets will be subject to limits set by the issuing financial institution (of the wallet).
An agreement between the SMT) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) was signed on this occasion, under which the IFC will provide technical support to the major projects on which the SMT is currently working.
According to Tap.