Etisalat Group, the leading telecoms operator in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, has announced the adoption of its Mobile Commerce service ‘Flous’ by a United Nations organisation to transfer salaries. The United Nations’ Population Fund Agency (PLAN) in Togo will use ‘Flous’ to transfer the salaries of more than 6,000 agents to their mobile phones. The organisation and its staff will benefit from improved security and flexibility of payments, better logistics, operational efficiencies, and quicker nation-wide accessibility and disbursement.
With the salaries credited to their Etisalat ‘Flous’ accounts, recipients can pay to merchants and utility providers directly, and can also withdraw cash from over 600 locations across the country. PLAN Togo is the first UN organisation in Togo to adopt the service, but joins a number of local companies in Togo that already use the service to disburse salaries to their staff.
Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Digital Services Officer, Etisalat Group, said, “At Etisalat Group, it is our constant endeavour to use our innovative solutions and network connectivity to make people’s lives better. In many parts of the world, financial security is a constant concern, and with a flexible and secure Mobile Commerce platform like Etisalat Flous, we are helping address a significant socio-economic concern area. We are proud to work alongside a respected entity like the United Nations and help add easy access, convenience and peace-of-mind to UN employees, freeing them to focus on their good work.”
“A solution like Etisalat Flous is not just for an emerging market such as Togo. We envision a wide range of everyday uses for this service in any market today. Empowering mobiles and smart phones with more services and solutions is by far the quickest roll-out method for any organisation,” he added.
Serge-Martin Shumann, Chief Financial Officer of PLAN TOGO, said, “This is a revolutionary innovation for PLAN TOGO and we plan to roll this out across the rest of the United Nations’ Population Funds Organizations. Etisalat Flous helps us to save time and work in total transparency, as financial operations such as salary disbursements can now be easily monitored. We commend Etisalat Togo for its role in the socio-economic transformation of Togo, and look forward to learning about new innovative solutions from the telco.”
In emerging markets such as Togo, infrastructure challenges hinder the effective transfer of funds through conventional means to remote areas, which could affect people working for organisations such as the UN and could be posted in various parts of the country, sometimes travelling to rural areas. Mobile Commerce also adds the element of physical security, negating the need to carry physical currency.
Mobile payments represent the most advanced and secure of all electronic payment options, and many merchant establishments across Africa and Asia are now conducting transactions using mobile phones. This is a growing area of interest for banking and financial services organisations too, as they do not need to provide branches and ATMs, and can offer financial services on the back of the already-far-reaching mobile networks.
For large organisations, Mobile Commerce service represents the most efficient way to ensure that salaries are disbursed quickly and can be accessed easily. The United Nations Children’s Fund, with more than 2,500 active agents in Togo, is also expected to join the programme soon.
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Etisalat Media Desk