In August 2020, with the approval of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Lonestar Cell MTN, one of Liberia’s leading GSM and Mobile Financial Services companies, launched its international remittances service. The service allows Mobile Money customers in Liberia to receive money from their family and friends anywhere in the world directly to their mobile money accounts, free of charge.
“Recently, we were contacted by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and asked to temporarily halt our international remittance service pending FIU’s review of the compliance of the service with Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations,” Lonestar Cell MTN said in a statement issued yesterday. “While the service was fully verified and approved by the CBL prior to launch, we respected the authority of the FIU and temporarily suspended the service while we worked with the CBL and the FIU to clear up any misunderstandings.
“We are pleased to inform our customers, international remittance partners and the public that following our engagements with both entities, our MoMo international remittance service is fully restored. We apologize for the inconvenience our customers may have experienced while the service was briefly suspended.”
The company expressed its desire to reassure its customers, partners, merchants, agents and the public that it adhered to the highest standards with the implementation and launch of the Mobile Money international remittances service and made sure to comply with all the requirements of the CBL who are the sector regulators. “Our AML/CFT controls were also recently audited and passed by both the FIU and CBL,” the company explained.
“International remittances into Liberia are extremely important and contribute immensely to the Liberian economy.
Lonestar Cell MTN’s extensive and inclusive MoMo ecosystem – with 8,000 agents and more than 2,000 merchants – allows almost a million Liberians to receive money from loved ones abroad and go about their daily lives more securely, safely and easily. Customers who receive money can conveniently cash out, pay for goods and services, or transfer the money to their friends and family on *156# at the prevailing standard Mobile Money fees.
According to the company, Mobile Money international remittances not only offers safety and convenience for customers, it also advances the government’s aim for a cashless, digital economy and financial inclusion. Customers who are not on MTN Mobile Money can join easily. Sign up is free. All they need to do is visit any Lonestar Cell MTN service center or registered MoMo agent with a valid identification card and fill out an application form.