The statistics on electronic money transactions in the CEMAC Zone as of the 31st of December 2018 in terms of numbers and value stood at: 572,362,635 (number of transactions) and 8,296,166,023,386 Frs CFA (in terms of value). With these staggering figures, it was illustrated that the number of financial transactions in electronic money increased by 572 million as against 303 million in the year 2017 and an increase in value from 4700 billion fcfa in 2017 to 8296 billion fcfa by the end of 2018, there was obviously a need for the CEMAC monetary authority to consider the role played by Fintech companies in the finance market. Such impressive records automatically called on the CEMAC monetary authority to institute an adequate regulatory framework. This led to the adoption of Regulation No. 04/18/CEMAC/UMAC/COBAC on payment services in the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC) by the Ministerial Committee of the Central African Monetary Union (UMAC) on the 21st of December 2018 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
99% of e-money transfers in central Africa were done through mobile money and these transactions included the payment of transport fares, payment of bills, payment of school fees, housing and accommodation etc.
Prior to the 2018 CEMAC regulation, only credit and micro finance institutions were authorized to issue e-money services in accordance with the banking model adopted and authorized by the central bank. However, the new CEMAC regulation has introduced payment institutions. These institutions need not be a credit or micro finance, nor in partnership with a technical operator to operate e-money transactions. They are a non-banking institution. Payment institutions are defined based on their services and the actors
- SERVICES CONSIDERED AS PAYMENT SERVICES
The 2018 CEMAC Regulation define payment services as the issuance, provision or management of payment instruments or means of payment and the execution of payment orders. In this regard, payment services include activities relating to the provision or management of instruments that enable any person to transfer funds regardless of the medium or technical process used. Such services include but not limited to;
- Services which permit payment and withdrawal of cash into a bank or payment account and the related management operations,
- The execution in relation to a bank or payment account, direct debits, payment card transactions,
- The provision of payment instruments or the acquisition of payment orders,
- Money transmission services not involving an account of either the payer, the payee or both etc.
- THE NEW ACTORS IN THE PAYMENT SERVICE INDUSTRY
According to the CEMAC regulation of 2018, the new actors in the payment service industry include;
- Approved and Authorized Payment Institutions: With the coming into force of the new CEMAC regulation, Fintech companies can now carryout the activity of the issuance of e-money as payment institutions with no obligation of being technical partners with credit or micro finance institutions.
- Distributors and Sub-Distributors of Payment Services: The payment service provider shall during the performance of its activities be entitled to use within the limits of its authorization, under its responsibility and control the services of one or more legal or natural persons called distributors or sub distributors for the purpose of marketing contracts and the provision of certain payment services.