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Wave Mobile Money becomes the first Fintech operating in multiple WAEMU countries to get an E-money license

  • April 21, 2022
  • 3 min read
Wave Mobile Money becomes the first Fintech operating in multiple WAEMU countries to get an E-money license

Wave Digital Finance, a subsidiary of Wave Mobile Money Group (Wave) became the first non-bank, non-telecom operator that operates in multiple WAEMU markets to be granted an E-money (EME) license by the Central Bank of the (8) West African States—BCEAO. The E-money license by the Central Bank signals a growing recognition of a new age of financial inclusion models led by Fintechs such as Wave.

Wave currently operates its mobile money business through sponsor banks. The new E-money license allows Wave to directly offer its current suite of financial products to customers. Additionally, it will allow Wave to diversify and offer more financial services like merchant payments, savings, credit, and remittances in collaboration with other partners in the WAEMU financial ecosystem.

Speaking on this development, the CEO of Wave Drew Durbin said, “We are excited to receive our E-money issuer license. We are grateful to the BCEAO who has been supportive of our vision to offer radically inclusive and affordable financial services. They have witnessed us grow into the largest mobile money provider in Senegal with over 6 million active users in just 4 years, and that’s only the beginning of customer-first mobile money in WAEMU.”

Ms. Coura Carine Sene, General Manager for Wave in WAEMU, said, “This is a momentous occasion for us. Despite being one of the largest mobile money providers in Senegal and other WAEMU countries, we were limited in what we could offer our customers. We will now be able to compete with other mobile money providers on an equal footing. The shift in the licensing structure will benefit both our customers and agent network in the long run. We expect new products to drive customer growth. Thus, benefiting our customers, while increasing the take-home income of our agents.

“In partnership with the national directions of BCEAO, we hope to extend this license very quickly to the other WAEMU countries so that our entire customer base in the region can benefit equally.”

Wave’s mobile money product which first launched in Senegal in 2018, has already disrupted the multi-decade old mobile money industry in the West African Monetary Union (WAEMU) and beyond. Wave’s unique business model and best in class technology-led approach to financial inclusion enables it to offer free bill payments, free cash-in, cash-out with only a 1% transfer fee—making it up to 70% cheaper than the traditional pricing structure of its competitors.

Wave is excited by the opportunity this new license brings in realizing our vision of a cashless Africa.

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Incuabte Africa

Incubate Africa, founded on June 5, 2016, is a Tech company based and Founded in Africa with the main focus of showcasing African-developed technology to the rest of the world. We strongly believe in what Africa has to offer the world. #Revolutionizing the startup culture

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