Algeria Launches Mobile Payment Interoperability to Boost Financial Inclusion

A vibrant cityscape of Algeria featuring a modern digital payment system. The image includes people using mobile devices to make payments via QR codes

In Africa, financial inclusion is a critical issue for many governments and financial regulators, with initiatives underway to enhance access to financial services for a larger segment of the population.

Algeria’s mobile payment interoperability project, “Switch mobile,” is now operational, the government announced on Monday, June 3. This initiative allows customers of Algerian banks and Algeria Post to make instant interbank transfers and account-to-account payments using QR codes.

Finance Minister Laaziz Fayed emphasized the significance of these innovations, stating that they “are the culmination of a work plan and a meticulous strategy launched by the public authorities as part of the implementation of the provisions of the monetary and banking law in its development aspect.”

According to Fayed, the launch of this service marks the second step in modernizing and developing payment methods by providing a switch for payments and transfers that connects all bank applications and those of Algeria Post to mobile. This aligns with the National Electronic Payment Strategy, aimed at enhancing financial inclusion in Algeria.

The government plans to further promote mobile payment services across the country through targeted campaigns, which are expected to significantly improve e-payment efficiency and security in Algeria.

Official figures indicate that the number of mobile transactions between January and March this year exceeded 13 million, with a value surpassing 9 billion Algerian dinars (66.9 million USD). The number of interbank and Algeria Post cards was estimated at over 17 million as of March 31, while the number of ATMs reached over 3,868, recording more than 45.9 million transactions totaling over 859 billion Algerian dinars during the first quarter.

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