Reverse Linkage Project between Mauritania and Tunisia on Platform Development for Mobile-based Financial Services
Reverse Linkage Project between Mauritania and Tunisia on Platform Development for Mobile-based Financial Services
Using the Tunisian experience to improve financial inclusion in Mauritania

Challenges

In Mauritania, access to the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure has been improving in recent years. Mobile network coverage reached 94% of the country, and the total number of subscribers for these networks exceeded the country’s population.

ICT stakeholders in Mauritania have not yet leveraged the ICT infrastructure to produce user-applications that save Mauritanians’ time and effort and ease business transactions, especially across the scattered cities and villages. Therefore, most of the population have no access to financial services such as payment and cash transfer, hence suffering from financial exclusion.

The Mauritanian Post Corporation (MauriPost) enjoys the trust of the Mauritanian society and has experience in providing certain financial services through its offices for a long time. MauriPost is mandated to improve financial inclusion by automating cash transfers and digitizing public services. However, it does not have sufficient technological and human capacity to fulfill its mandate.

Towards a Solution

The Tunisian Post became an autonomous public institution in 1998, with a history dating back to 1847. With 1,030 offices, its services are highly accessible to Tunisian citizens. The Tunisian Post began providing digital wallet and mobile payment services in 2015, through basic mobile phone, under the name e-Dinar. Then, Tunisian Post established a new platform for digital financial transactions, “D17", based on smartphone and internet connectivity.

The D17 platform provides Tunisian citizens with the services of recharging, cashing, credit transfer, invoice payment, pension payment, scholarship payment, and loan repayment. The front-end of D17 is a user application that can be downloaded on a mobile phone or run on a personal computer. Each digital account is linked to an actual account in the Tunisian Post. 

Through Mauritania’s Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is supporting the Government of Mauritania in its aims to enhance and diversify the foundations of a modern economy. Improving financial inclusion, while capitalizing on Mauritania’s ICT infrastructure, is an effective means of realizing this objective.

The Tunisia Agency for Technical Cooperation (ATCT) is a historical and strategic partner of IsDB. The two institutions hold regular consultative meetings to explore opportunities to transfer Tunisian expertise. Tunisia’s MCPS also identified Mauritania as one possible recipient of Reverse Linkage projects.

Accordingly, the potential to fulfill MauriPost’s needs through the Tunisian Post’s capacities was agreed. The IsDB then coordinated and funded a peer-to-peer consultation process to undertake a detailed diagnosis of the current capacities of MauriPost. This process resulted in formulating a Reverse Linkage project for establishing a mobile-based financial services platform in Mauritania, benefiting from the Tunisian expertise, and building MauritPost’s necessary capacities for running and sustaining this platform.

The project aims to increase access and improve the security and speed of financial services in Mauritania, leading to enhanced financial inclusion.

The project’s main activities include:

  • Setting up a mobile-based financial services platform, which is based on Cloud architecture.
  • Developing and deploying standard services, namely cash transfer and scholarship distribution.
  • Developing MauriPost Digital Strategy to set the principles and orientations that it will adopt while providing mobile payments.
  • Analyzing the requirements of digitizing the financial services of eight public and private entities, including the National Electricity Company, National Water Company, mobile network operators, and National Social Security Center.
  • Developing and rolling out Mauritania-specific services, such as paying the bills of public services and paying the monthly pensions for retirees.
  • Implementing a communication campaign to inform the Mauritanian citizens about the launch of the new services.
  • Training MauriPost to operate the new platform, covering both frontline and backend functions.  
  • Providing two levels of technical support to end-users, by MauriPost and Tunisian Post.

Upon project completion, MauriPost will be positioned as a major player for the promotion of digital transactions and electronic commerce, playing its expected role as a facilitator of financial inclusion.

The project will be beneficial to both Mauritanian citizens and institutions. Mauritanian citizens will benefit from highly available, secure, and affordable financial services. Institutions will be able to improve their cash flow and reduce the administration cost of cash collection. The project will enable the Tunisian Post to increase its international presence in the market of mobile payments. It will open new avenues for the Tunisian Post to work in other countries in West Africa, and providing financial services to travellers between Tunisia and Mauritania.

The IsDB 10-year Strategic Framework recognizes capacity development as a cross-cutting strategic pillar that underpins economic and social development. The project is in line with this notion, introducing a new platform for automated financial services, which can serve any sector and improve financial inclusion in general.

Contact Information

Mr. Sameh Hussein, Regional Coordinator of Technical Cooperation, IsDB | Mrs. Rym Salhi, Project Coordinator, ATCT

Countries involved

Mauritania, Tunisia

Supported by

Islamic Development bank (IsDB), Tunisian Agency for Technical Cooperation (ATCT), Tunisian Post, Government of Mauritania

Implementing Entities

Tunisian Post

Project Status

Completed

Project Period

2020 - 2021

URL of the practice

http://bit.ly/3TIwP3x

Primary SDG

01 - No Poverty

Primary SDG Targets

1.1, 1.4

Secondary SDGs

09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Secondary SDG Targets

9.3, 9.c, 17.6

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