Responsible Finance Forum

Paving the Way for Digital Financial Services in Jordan

Nana Yaa Boakye-Adjei, Gemma Robson and Leon Isaacs
01 June 2017
  DMA Global
  German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

CGAP engaged DMA to research the Jordanian remittances market to inform development interventions and pilots aimed at improving access to financial services for low-income Jordanians and Syrian refugees living in Jordan, leveraging international remittance flows into and out of the Kingdom.

Research took place between April and September 2016 and focused on assessing the supply of services for both the domestic and international payments market. Using the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS)-World Bank General Principles for International Remittances, a general assessment was completed on the market structure, regulatory and competitive environment, transparency and consumer protection. A detailed analysis of eight corridors, selected based on their size and potential for digitization, was also completed to assess the viability of launching a digital pilot in one of these corridors to test an end-to-end digital solution for international remittances. The five inbound corridors were from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States, and Germany to Jordan; three outbound corridors were from Jordan to Egypt, Palestine, and the Philippines.

The main findings are as follows. In the domestic market, the innovative new payments system of JoMoPay sits alongside a highly cash-based society. While the infrastructure and regulatory framework are sound and offer the potential for the rapid uptake of mobile payments, a concerted effort is needed to drive this uptake, both from a consumer and a service provider perspective. Consumer protection also needs to be addressed in the near term.