GSMA reveals code of conduct for mobile money providers

January 17, 2015 • Businesses, Regions, South Africa

The GSMA: Mobile 360 Series – Africa is well underway at the Clock Tower Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. At the event, GSMA unveiled a Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers.

The Code of Conduct outlines a series of common business principles to enable the development of safe and responsible digital financial services. The first mobile network operators (MNOs) to endorse the Code are Airtel, Avea, Axiata, Etisalat, Millicom, MTN, Ooredoo, Orange, Telenor, Vodafone and Zain. Together, these MNO groups represent 82 mobile money deployments operating in 51 countries.

Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA stated that: “By endorsing the Code of Conduct, mobile operators are demonstrating their commitment to offering safe and reliable services, which will strengthen the digital financial ecosystem by fostering consistent implementation of business practices that ensure service quality, enhance customer satisfaction, facilitate commercial partnerships, and build trust with regulators. The GSMA strongly encourages all of its members offering mobile money services to endorse the Code that we’ve introduced today.”

The companies that have subscribed to the Code are formalising their commitment to eight principles underpinning three key areas of importance: soundness of services; security of the mobile network and channel; and the fair treatment of customers.

Providers that endorse the Code commit to:

Safeguard customer funds against risk of loss;

Maintain effective mechanisms to combat money laundering and terrorist financing;

Equip and monitor staff, agents, and entities providing outsourced services to ensure that they offer safe and reliable services;

Ensure reliable service provision with sufficient network and system capacity;

Take robust steps to ensure the security of the mobile network and channel;

Communicate clear, sufficient and timely information to empower customers to make informed decisions;

Develop mechanisms to ensure that complaints are effectively addressed and problems are resolved in a timely manner; and

Collect, process, and/or transmit personal data fairly and securely.

According to the GSMA, it is also working with members and expert organisations in developing recommended business practices to provide guidance on how groups and country-level mobile money providers can effectively operationalise the principles that underlie the Code. In addition, the GSMA and the providers participating in the initiative will work to develop a self-assessment process along with a robust certification regime for verifying compliance with the Code of Conduct.

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