Interview with one of the managers of this money transfer and distance payment company whose core target is Cameroon.
Could you briefly describe the start-up Squares Union?
Squares Union is a start-up specialising in financial transactions, distance payment of bills (hospital, grocery, pharmacy, etc.) and telephone recharge. We have authorisations from the financial market to undertake our activities. We have therefore developed an internet platform usable on computer, smartphone and tablet. Our platform is thus simple, rapid and secure.
We are present in Canada and in Cameroon, in different towns such as Douala, Yaoundé, Bafoussam, Bamenda, Bagangté, Dschang and Kribi. To allow withdrawal of funds in Cameroon, we have several withdrawal points. We have several microfinance institutions and other partner cooperatives. It includes notably FODEC, FIGEC and soon CCA. We are hoping at a later date to open new withdrawal points in Cameroon, in order to cover the entire country. We are also about to open in Côte d’Ivoire and later hoping to open in Senegal and Togo. We thus have the intention of covering all of Africa, and in the near future, Europe.
You are based in Canada. What led Squares Union to spread its activities to Cameroon?
The main reason which led Squares Union to extend its activities to Cameroon is that the three co-founders are of Cameroonian origin, and have thus faced the problem of the high cost of money transfer operations.
In real terms, what do you offer as benefits to your partners in Cameroon?
We have signed contracts with our partners, so they can open withdrawal points. The benefit is thus a financial benefit, a fee from our activity.
In the money transfer section where you operate, there are already giants such as MoneyGram, Western Union, World Remit who make digital transfers, even Afrimarket which allows cash to goods transfers from the African diaspora. What is your special offer compared to these bigwigs in the money transfer market?
We differ from our competitors price-wise. Firstly, the transfer cost is 5.99 dollars for all amounts from 0 to 1,000 dollars. Therefore our price is fixed, whereas our competitors have variable prices, depending on the amount to be transferred. Next, our platform is simple to use, rapid and secure. Thus, you can make transfers 24h/24 and 7days/7 anywhere from your computer, tablet or smartphone. You do not need to move.
Nowadays, what is the weight of your activities in Cameroon in the overall portfolio of your start-up.
The weight of our activities in Cameroon in our portfolio is significant. Because, as I told you earlier, at the moment we are only operating in Canada and Cameroon. So far, our activity is in expansion.
But, we hope to further develop our exposure in Cameroon, to better respond to household needs. Likewise in Canada, we are trying to engage as much as possible with Cameroonian associations.
Interview conducted (online) by BIC