Bridging the Gap Between Banking and Mobile Money

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Lonestar Cell MTN CEO Abbad Reda (2nd from right) and team will unveil a series of enhanced Mobile Money services

If ever a gap exists between mainstream banking and mobile money in Liberia, it shows itself through amazing possibilities, average levels of efficiency, leaving much to be desired especially in savings of money’s most priceless value — time. But Lonestar Cell MTN, the leader in the mobile money space in Liberia, will today, April 6th, roll out a series of services that promise to bridge the gap and catapult Liberia into a truly cashless financial environment.

It’s a trifecta of strategic Mobile Money services that could mean a significant spike in market share for the company’s platform.

Today, Lonestar Cell MTN is introducing “MoMo Pay”, a service that allows Mobile Money subscribers to pay for goods and services by simply tapping their mobile phones against a point-of-sale (POS) device, followed by a final step to confirm purchase. The service, powered by smart stickers attached to subscribers’ mobile phones, aims to make daily financial transactions easy and convenient and eliminates the risk of carrying cash around in wallets or purses that could easily be dropped or stolen, Lonestar says. And while phones could also be stolen, Lonestar has already covered the risk by requiring in-person registrations for both the SIM card and the Mobile Money subscription, as well as user passwords.

According to Lonestar, MoMo Pay will be rolled out in supermarkets, pharmacies, bookstores, restaurants, petrol stations and all payment acceptance points, the company says. The service enables Mobile Money subscribers to make payments for goods and services at any Mobile Money acceptance point using the Mobile Pay stickers.

“This innovative service will enable mobile phones and merchant POS terminals to seamlessly connect to the Lonestar Cell MTN Mobile Money wallet where our 1 million Mobile Money subscribers will be able to pay for goods and services simply by “tapping” their phones on a merchant point of sale device,” Lonestar says.

Another major move by Lonestar Cell MTN is the roll-out of a service that allows a subscriber to seamlessly transfer money back and forth between their commercial bank account and their Mobile Money wallet. Mobile Money is working in partnership with major commercial banks to offer an integrated service that allows Mobile Money subscribers to “Pull Money” from their bank accounts onto their Mobile Money Wallets and to “Push Money” from their Mobile Money Wallets to their bank accounts from the comfort of their homes and offices. Please watch out for this upcoming innovative service.  The seamless transfer service comes in handy for both individuals and organizations and could see fewer lines at commercial banks, where the Mobile Money service then be facilitating deposits and withdrawals.

“Lonestar Cell MTN made a promise to the Liberian people to provide world class digital financial services and today we are honoring that commitment,” the company said in a statement earlier this week. A source at Lonestar confirmed that so far, one commercial bank (unnamed) is ready to roll-out the seamless transfer service partnersip with Mobile Money.

Finally, though certainly not least, Lonestar Cell MTN Mobile Money signed a proof of concept agreement in September 2017 for mobile payment with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) for the acceptance of tax payment via Mobile Money. The mobile tax payment platform aims to ease the process of paying government taxes. The service will go live this April, Lonestar says, enabling Liberians to pay government taxes using Mobile Money directly from their phone with the assistance of our over 2500+ agents nationwide

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