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Financial inclusion and widespread use of e-payment

In the light of the swift changes and progress of the several aspects of modern life, studies, work, transport, medical care, purchase, entertainment and other individuals’ activities, which made it necessary to create tools and supports offering advantages of flexibility, rapidity and instant response to meet the needs, in line with the requirements of safety, security and reliability in use.

In view of these changes and growing expectations of today’s citizens at the era of the widespread use of the ICTs, having mastered the uses and acquired the status of digital environment actors, have become, in this perspective more requiring,

making the standards of providing quality services higher; the Government has adopted, in its action plan pursuant to President of the Republic’s commitments as regards digital transformation, in the second chapter entitled : « For an economic revival and renewal », an integrated approach of modernization of the financial and banking system based on four axes :

  • First, the development of basic infrastructures of support for the ICTs,
  • Second, the improvement of financial inclusion through a larger involvement of the postal network within the financial services supply,
  • Third, the acceleration of e-payment systems modernization and decrease of the cash use,
  • Fourth, the encouragement of e-commerce.

WHAT’S the role of post and telecoms sector?

The sector of post and telecoms likewise other actors involved in a dynamic step of the ecosystem upgrade, contributing to develop e-payment and achieve financial inclusion, is meant to contribute by :

  • Supervising the implementation of national strategies’ programs in a bid to reinforce and modernize e-communications infrastructures, as a base frame for the widespread use of ICTs and improvement of inclusion within the information society.

The achievements made in high-speed and very high-speed internet connectivity, fixed and mobile, are the tangible proof of the important investments carried out and encouraging steps conducted by our country.

Many fixed or mobile post offices keep being delivered and opened nationwide. With a total of 4257 post offices, the postal sector is still an important channel of traffic of flows and financial services.

  • upplying practical equipment, solutions and applications by the sector’s operators to improve financial inclusion of sector’s clients.

As regards equipment, the postal network keeps being reinforced with ATMs and opening free service spaces via ATMs, currently widespread all over provinces.

Algerie Poste corporation, with its personalization unit of Edahabia card has succeeded to increase rapidly the number of e-payment cards delivered to clients, helping to double their number, which was 6 million in 2020 and has reached 12.5 million cards at present. Besides, this unit is responsible for supplying banks with e-payment cards.

In terms of applications and solutions, « Baridi Mob» application provides citizens, via the money platform of Algérie Poste, many safe and swift financial services to reduce the deadlines, movements and amount of financial flows in traffic.

Besides, Algerie Poste, endeavors to spread its leading experience of e-payment via mobile phones through Qr Code.

  • The contribution of post and telecoms sector’s in the approach of e-payment development and support for financial inclusion, has also a participative and a coordinative nature , based on the pooling of resources and energies with all the actors of financial inclusion, ministerial sectors, public bodies and institutions, private operators, entrepreneurship leaders and owners of startups.

Institutions under the supervision and responsibility of the sector have signed many agreements aiming at encouraging the e-payment use and reinforcing interactions between these actors.

We can mention the agreements signed between Algerie Poste and GIE (e-payment interest group) , as well as SATIM (banking automation and e-payments company)  about interoperability in 2020, which enabled, thanks to the interaction among payment platforms of postal and bank networks,  Edahabia card holders and bank cards holders to benefit from monetary services provided via ATMs of post offices and bank branches, nationwide, in an integrated way meeting the required safety and efficiency standards, as well as the possibility of using EPTs in commercial transactions.

A second agreement was signed between the same parties, to spread the e-payment service online, in 2021, allowing to complete interoperability cycle of e-payment system of postal and bank e-payment platforms, by making payment service online accessible for all payment card holders (postal and bank).

Concerning multisectoral cooperation, our sector as well as that of national education have signed an agreement allowing parents to pay the registration fees of national exams online via Edahabia card without moving to post offices.

It is worth mentioning that another agreement has been concluded with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, to effer students the opportunity to pay their university registration fees online. Such an endeavour was highly successful with over 2.4 million transactions via Algerie Poste’s platform for 2023-2024.

ENCOURAGING OUTCOMES WITH A WIDE SCOPE OF EVOLUTION

These efforts have enabled to carry out about 60 million e-payment transactions by the end of 2023, while this number was only 5 million transactions in 2020.

The outcomes achieved so far in terms of financial inclusion and e-payment are encouraging, still they show a significant scope of evolution in view of the current infrastructures’ capacities, whether of telecoms networks or the of development of e-payment tools.

Un autre accord à citer, celui conclu avec le secteur de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche scientifique, offrant la possibilité aux étudiants de s’acquitter des droits d’inscription universitaires, également en ligne. Initiative qui a été couronnée avec un grand succès, la plateforme monétique d’Algérie Poste a, en effet, traité plus de 2,4 millions de transactions au cours de l’année universitaire 2023-2024.

Résultats encourageants avec une large marge d’évolution

Tous ces efforts permettront de réaliser environ 60 millions d’opérations de paiement électronique d’ici fin 2023, alors que ce nombre ne dépassait pas 5 millions d’opérations en 2020.

Les résultats obtenus jusqu’alors dans le domaine de l’inclusion financière et du paiement électronique sont encourageants, mais ils laissent entrevoir une marge d’évolution importante, compte tenu des capacités qu’offrent les infrastructures actuelles, qu’il s’agisse de réseaux de télécommunications ou de développement des moyens de paiement électronique.