Mobile money, unlimited work stoppage in points of sale

The crisis shaking the distribution chain of mobile money services is far from over. The owners of mobile money points of sale (POS) in Côte d’Ivoire have decided to get their voices heard. They announce another work stoppage from August 9, 2022 throughout the national territory. A way to get mobile operators and authorities to seriously address the thorny issue of their commissions.

More than 200,000 mobile money points of sale will close from Tuesday August 9, 2022 throughout the national territory. This is a joint decision of the National Union of Mobile Money Point of Sale Owners of Côte d’Ivoire (SYNAM-CI) and the Collective of Associations of Point of Sale Owners and Mobile Money Service Providers of Côte d’Ivoire.

These players in the mobile money community in Côte d’Ivoire thus intend to draw the government’s attention to the current situation prevailing in their activity. The recent arm wrestling between POS and mobile operators having given birth to a mouse.

As a reminder, in June 2022, SYNAM-CI observed a 3-day work stoppage. The reason? The poor payment of commissions and remunerations applied by the operators vis-à-vis the owners of mobile money points of sale.

What explains the observation of another work stoppage in less than three in the same corporation? Joined by 7 info, Coulibaly Félix, Deputy Secretary General of the National Union of Mobile Money Point of Sale Owners in Côte d’Ivoire, gives the reasons.

“Since June 27, all POS have decided to apply local service delivery fees of 100 FCFA on all deposit and withdrawal transactions, following readjustments of their commissions. We had offered to explain to our customers that these 100 FCFA constituted their contribution to the sustainability of our activity while waiting to win the case. And now we are cornered from behind. We see that the operators are terminating the contracts of the POS which apply these fees of 100 FCFA, they are also threatening our entire corporation. On top of that, they suspend the POS accounts and transfer the money therein to the owners’ personal accounts. Especially the Orange and Wave operators are the ones who threaten us strongly”reveals Coulibaly Félix.

In order to find a solution to the problems encountered by the POS, the Minister of Employment and Social Protection had organized a meeting on June 23 between the various protagonists, namely the owners of points of sale and the mobile money operators. Talks did not bear any fruit.

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“Some decisions had been taken and the Minister of Employment and Social Protection had even reassured us that our file had been sent to the head of government. Subsequently, we were contacted by the Primature during the month of June to confirm that our demands and proposals had indeed been received and that a working session would take place on this subject. Unfortunately so far there have been no concrete results while we are now working at a loss, because we no longer have a return on investment and it is becoming difficult for us”explains the Deputy Secretary General of SYNAM-CI.

When asked when this work stoppage will end, SYNAM-CI’s answer is unequivocal.

“The work stoppage that we are going to observe will take place from August 9 to 11 but until we win our case we will maintain it until further notice. In the event that no solution is found, we will conclude that we are not important in the distribution chain and we will consider reinventing ourselves in other sectors of activity”concludes Coulibaly Félix.

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