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LoneStar Cell MTN, GT Bank launch Push and Pull service

In support of government’s digital financial inclusion strategy to ease the liquidity crisis here, Liberia’s telecommunication giant LoneStar Cell MTN and commercial bank Guaranty Trust Bank have launched a mobile money product called Push and Pull which enables linkage of customers’ bank accounts to their MTN mobile money numbers.

Unveiling the product during its launch on Friday, 27 December at LoneStar MTN’s head office in Congo Town, MTN and GT Bank officials said customers using the Push and Pull service are at liberty to move any amount from their accounts without restriction as to how much can be withdrawn.

Additionally, the partners say customers can use their mobile money accounts to go to businesses that use mobile money service to purchase goods without carrying cash in their pockets.

In the first month upon the launch of the Push and Pull product, the service will be free of charges for customers, according to the partners.Following the one – month free service, a minimum charge will then be put on the Push and Pull service.Mr. Ali Fakih, LoneStar Cell MTN Deputy Chief Executive Officer says with MTN’s growing mobile money service here, the company has just crossed a milestone by the launch of this service.

Mr. Fakih says the mile stone makes it possible for a customer to transfer money between their GT Bank account and MTN mobile money wallet.He applauds the great partners, which includes Central Bank of Liberia and Guaranty Trust Bank for making it possible for “us” to keep on innovating and getting one step closer towards a brighter day in Liberia.

He reminds Liberians of the long queues that they had to stand in and how long it used to take them to do transactions in banking halls.“That’s in the past now because the future is made out of three words – it’s Push and Pull. This means exactly what it sounds like. You push money into your bank account, and you put it back into your mobile money,” Mr. Fakih says.

The Deputy MTN CEO thanks his staff for making this service possible and making the company looks bright.
Also speaking, Mr. Elvis Crusoe, Corporate Banking Executive at Guaranty Trust Bank thanks LoneStar MTN for the level of collaboration they had over the years.Mr. Crusoe says one of their key objectives for this year is to ensure that their digital banking product remains second to none.

As a means of expanding their financial inclusion policy, Mr. Crusoe says the Bank thought to work and ensure that this project becomes successful.Over the years, he notes that Guaranty Trust Bank has worked with LoneStar MTN and the Central Bank of Liberia to reach this far.

Knowing the importance of this product, he says they rolled out the product on Friday, 27 December upon receipt of the approval of the Central Bank earlier on Thursday.He applauds the team from both LoneStar and GT Bank for the level of work they have put into the project.With the launch of the project, he says it makes it easy for customers to receive their money from the banks without standing in long lines.

“This is the future we were talking about. We want to move to a place wherein we become cashless in the very soonest possible time. So we think this is a very great milestone that we have embarked especially with LoneStar and we know that this can even go further and even get better…,” Mr. Crusoe concludes.

For his part, Mr. Prince Chesson, the Head of MTN Mobile Money Service, explains at the launch of the product that to gain access to the Push and Pull Service, an individual needs to visit GT Bank Branches to link his or her GT Bank account to the LoneStar Cell MTN Mobile Money number.

“We strongly believe that this product will help to ease the current Liquidity Crises because it will help to significantly boost the Eco System Development,” he says.Through the service, Mr. Chesson explains that customers can transfer money from their mobile money wallet to their bank accounts which is called “Push.”

Further, he says customers can also transfer money from their bank accounts to their mobile money wallet, which he also calls “Pull.”“This is indeed a proof that we are supporting the Government of Liberia Digital Financial Inclusion Strategy. The official launch with GT Bank is just the beginning of this Digital Revolution that has hit Liberia,” he adds.

He concludes that there are limited branch network in the country, but MTN Mobile Money is covering the 15 counties with over 7,000 active agents, noting that this product will enable customers to seamlessly move funds from their bank accounts to their MTN mobile money wallet and seamlessly cash out.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jeremy Yattoh, Digital Banking at GT Bank says the service is going to open the economy, especially at a time where there is liquidity crisis in the country.“This service is actually going to open up the economy,” he says, adding that mobile telephone operators operate in remote places where banks do not reach.He explains that GT Bank partners with MTN to enable customers to move money from mobile money wallets to their bank accounts.By Winston W. Parley

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