French financial services company Societe
Generale has launched Yoban’tel, a money transfer and bill payment
service in Senegal, with a view to roll out the m-banking system
worldwide in the future.

The m-banking prepaid service initiated by
Societe Generale de Banques au Senegal (SGBS), a subsidiary of the
Societe Generale Group, is available to anyone in Senegal with a
mobile phone, regardless of their network operator and whether or
not they hold a bank account. Societe Generale gave no indiction as
to when the mobile service will be available to consumers on a
global scale.

“Yoban’tel by Obopay allows us to establish
innovative and convenient mobile money transfer and payments for
those Senegalese who have previously not had access to such
services,” said Richard Hababou, MD, Societe Generale innovations

Consumers can use their existing handsets in
order to opt into the service. The payment transactions, powered by
US mobile payments company Obopay, are sent by SMS, eliminating the
need to change the SIM or install an application.

“Partnering with one of the world’s leading
banks, Societe Generale, enables [consumers] to put mobile
money at the heart of their accounts,” said Obopay CEO Carol

Various partnerships have been formed to launch the mobile
service in the Senegalese market. Microfinance institution Credit
Mutual du Senegal will offer registration and cash management,
Canal+ Horizons Senegal will enable the payment of subscriptions
through mobile phones and mobile operator Tigo will provide
distribution in its points of sale.