With a 56% of the population living in the rural areas, Benin relies essentially on port activities and on agriculture In fact, in spite of the young population, access to financial services is limited to 7.03% rate of use of the commercial banking system. On the other hand Mobile penetration has grown exponentially lately, increasing from 50% in 2011 to 92% in 2014.

Taking the MM4P Theory of Change, Benin is currently positioned in the Startup phase. With only three e-money licensed providers, including two that received their license in late 2013, services are limited both in terms of providers (MTN, Moov, ASMAB), products (Cash in/out, top up, P2P) and service points. Unlike Senegal, agents networks are largely proprietary and there is no interoperability. The BCEAO issued a new and better regulatory instruction for e-money issuers in May 2015 that address some of the gaps in the 2006 instruction. However, there is still lack of clarity in regard to KYC, interoperability, agent banking, customer protection, market conduct and supervision.

Where We Are

  • 6% of adult population; 393,912 total (Supply-side data from BCEAO and UN Population Statistics, 2015)
  • 9% of adult population (Demand- side data without OTC from Financial Inclusion Insights Benin and UN Population Statistics, 2015.)
  • per 100,000 adults (MIX Market Agent Mapping and UN Population Statistics, 2015)
  • New regulatory guidelines for e-money issuers by BCEAO
  • Significant expansion of mobile money agent networks
  • Cross-border mobile transfers in WAEMU
  • Partnerships between MNOs and MFIs as agents for mobile money distribution

What We Did So Far

  • Recruited an in-country DFS expert to support the programme activities in Benin
  • Facilitated the participation of representatives of the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Microfinance in a G2P exposure visit on digitizing social benefits payments in South-Africa
  • Invited Benin service providers to a training on agent network management in Senegal facilitated by the Helix Institute of Digital Finance
  • Facilitated the participation of two representatives of the Ministry of Finance in a workshop on payment diagnosis in Dakar
  • Conducted a market research on microfinance and digital financial services in Benin
  • Conducted research on financial services access points that led to a dynamic service point mapping tool with the Mix Market
  • Conducted a quantitative research with Intermedia on client adoption of DFS

What We Plan for 2019

  • 12% active registered DFS users as percentage of adult population ( total 781,096)
  • Well-developed agent network with good coverage, particularly in rural areas
  • Partnerships amongst MNOs, MFIs and banks to deliver financial services to the poor (credit, savings, insurance and other innovations)
  • Wide range of payments (government, utilities, value chains, tontines) digitized
  • Interoperability and clearer regulations around KYC, agents, customer protection, agent banking and electronic signature

Facts and Figures

Where We Were

Stories from the Field

Our Team

Cossoba Nanako
Programme Officer