President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf has endorsed the new mobile money technology program introduced to Liberia by Lonestar Cell MTN in partnership with Ecobank- Liberia.
Lonestar Cell MTN, in partnership with Ecobank- Liberia Limited, over the weekend launched a new technology in the country referred to as Mobile Money.The service will enable subscribers to send and receive money via mobile phones.
Speaking on behalf of President Sirleaf at the launch of the mobile money program, Internal Affairs Minister Harrison Karnwea praised the program, adding that the President has seen it in other countries in Africa.
Minister Karnwea quoted President Sirleaf as saying that though the program was late in Liberia, Liberians could not wait to see Mobile Money functional here.
He also quoted the President as expressing interest in the program for all Liberians, thanking Lonestar Cell MTN and EcoBank for such wonderful program. Central Bank of Liberia Executive Governor Mills Jones, recently praised Ecobank- Liberia and Lonestar Cell MTN for collaborating in the pioneering stage to bring Mobile Money to Liberia under the approval of the Central Bank.
He said the success story behind the launch last Friday was due to the collaborative efforts of the bank and the Management of Ecobank, including its partner Lonestar Cell MTN, which shared the view of the Central Bank of Liberia that the introduction of mobile money services was a vision worth pursuing.
According to the Governor, Lonestar Cell MTN and Ecobank have been given permission to provide the service in the country, adding that Mobile Money was a banking product. As the forerunner of GSM service provider in Liberia, Lonestar Cell MTN still maintains the country’s largest subscribers on its network, which has the ideal platform for mobile money services.
This new product Mobile Money was introduced for the first time in Liberia as a cash management service through the use of mobile phones. It is a new century innovation service successfully used in emerging markets in countries where MTN operates.
The service has already been launched in Ghana (MTN), Ivory Coast (MTN), Benin (MTN),Cameroon (MTN), Guinea Bissau (MTN), Swaziland (MTN), Uganda (MTN), Zimbabwe (MTN), Kenya (M-Pesa) and South Africa, respectively.
Lonestar Cell MTN’s Chief Executive Officer Mazen Mroue, speaking at the launch, said with difficult roads and limited formal banking facilities around Liberia, Mobile Money, and a cash management service introduced by Ecobank and Lonestar Cell, will provide the opportunity for more Liberians, particularly in the rural areas to have access to cash, money transfer, pay bills, do business and improve their lives.
“By launching Mobile Money, we as Lonestar Cell MTN reaffirm our commitment to working with the Liberian government, the Central Bank of Liberia through our partnership with Ecobank- Liberia, to improve the lives of the Liberian people. We will continue to respond to the needs of not only our subscribers, but all Liberians in harmony with the development roadmap of the Liberian Government. We look forward to Liberians around the country using this service as we assure you of our promise to stand with the Liberian nation,” he noted.
The Lonestar CEO said the launch of mobile money followed the introduction of Liberia’s first Mobile Broadband Internet service iConnect, which provides the fastest mobile internet service to businesses, residences, schools and other places.
There are several wide range of services that the Lonestar Cell MTN Mobile Money offers, including Money transfer services- Cash-In (deposit) to account, Cash-out (withdrawal) from account, Account to Account transfer & Account to Cash transfer; Airtime purchase (converted to any currency class); Bulk payment (allows companies, micro finance institutions and civil servants to make payments to a large group of people); Bill payments (allows individuals to pay DSTV bills, electricity, water, school fees, etc); International remittance (Western Union and others).
Mobile Money subscribers or users, with transactions such as cash-in & cash-out will have the option of doing so at many designated Cash Points around the country, including Ecobank Liberia facilities.
The Managing Director of Ecobank- Liberia, Kola Adeleke said the flexibility of this system provides greater benefits for companies, as well as those already signing up with the program to pay their workers in the rural areas through the mobile payment process.
This, he said, will provide safety, since companies do not have to risk having someone physically carry large sums of cash on their person. He noted that Ecobank- Liberia will remain committed to Liberians at all times, thanking Lonestar Cell MTN family for their cooperative efforts with Ecobank.