How ‘Mobile Money’ Will Boost Nigerian Economy

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, recently licensed some operators to deliver mobile money services in Nigeria in order to achieve its cashless policy for the country.

In August, 10 organizations were licensed by the CBN to provide mobile payment services in Nigeria. Some of the firms are Fortis MobileMoney, Afripay, GTBank and seven others.

Mr Tayo Oviosu, the Chief Executive Officer of Pagatech, a mobile payment service provider, explained how the adoption of this mode of transaction would benefit Nigerians.

Explaining what mobile money is, he said, “Mobile Money is a popular method of banking that fits in well with a busy, technologically oriented lifestyle. It might also be referred to as Mobile-banking or Mobile Payment (M-banking or M-payment). The amount of banking one is able to do on his mobile phone varies depending on the banking institution in use. Some banks offer only the option of messages sent to mobile phones that sound the alert of activity on an account such as deposits, withdrawals, and ATM. The newest technology is that Nigeria is at the threshold of Mobile Money Transfer and Payment, MMTP.”

He added, “Today, many Nigerians use informal methods to transfer money to friends and family. This method presents several risks and often money is lost along the way. Mobile payment would change the way consumers interact with financial services and make payments. Financial services under this platform include consumer accounts information, updates, alerts, bill payments, person to person transactions and remittances. Mobile payment revolution is currently sweeping across the African continent and Nigeria shouldn’t be out of the modern and global trend in enjoying such initiatives by adopting technological practices that make lives easier.”

“Mobile Money Africa is actively leading the trail in opening up sector all over Africa by providing media, event, news and education in the emerging sector. The training event would empower potential agents to understand how mobile payment works, their role and benefits as a business venture in the emerging industry.”

How do you think mobile money can impact on the social economic development of the country?

He also explained how mobile money can impact the social economic development of Nigeria, “Mobile payment industry will play a huge role in the development of the Nigerian economy. In 10 years, I believe it would have made strong strides in transforming lives by bringing innovative and universal access to financial services. Paga’s bottom up approach will empower the most under-served segments of our economy. Our services would have spread to those households that are poorer and less connected to the financial system. In addition, a key stumbling block in our economy is the ability to move money from the sender to the receiver. Since the creation of money, the ability to move it has been a fundamental cornerstone of economic activity. If we remove these impediments of moving money in Nigeria, I believe we will see an increase in economic activity. Bringing financial services to the masses is vital for the growth of Nigeria’s economy. Paga’s money transfer service is the first step on a journey that will bring relevant financial services to the doorsteps of millions of Nigerians.”

The regulatory framework put together by the Central Bank has taken the best from various parts of the world where services similar to Paga are offered – India, Kenya, Philippines, South Africa, and United States layered on the Nigerian situation. To make sure the service is available to all Nigerians, even those that do not have formal identification documents, the CBN framework allows for anyone providing a name and a phone number to use the basic services of Paga. This simple consideration will provide a strong boost for financial inclusion in Nigeria.

Thousands of agents are providing service points all across Nigeria to serve the customers, providing cash in/cash out, registration and customer services for estimated 52 million unbanked adult populations under and addressable adult population of 80 million.

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