The government of Côte d'Ivoire is seeking to increase the usage of mobile banking in the country by allowing interoperability between different digital financial services.
Ecofin Agency reported that the government anticipates a boost to mobile money subscribers and therefore transaction volumes if customers of different providers are able to transfer money between platforms.
As part of this effort, the government will open up the base level USSD (unstructured supplementary service data) standard to companies other than mobile operators, which have previously held an effective monopoly on the technology. The government hopes that this move will result in more players entering the financial services space.
In addition to encouraging money transfers between consumers, the government also aims to expand digital access to its own services, with the goal of allowing citizens to access 80% of its services via their mobile devices.
The push towards financial inclusion forms part of a broader regional strategy from the Central Bank of West African States. Within Côte d'Ivoire, the government believes that around 44% of the population do not – or cannot – access mobile financial services.