Nigeria: How ‘Mobile Money’ Will Boost Nigerian Economy

Lagos — The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in order to achieve its cashless policy for the country, recently licensed some operators to deliver the mobile money services in Nigeria. In this interview with Mr Tayo Oviosu, the Chief Executive Officer of Pagatech, a mobile payment service provider, he explained how the adoption of this mode of transaction would benefit Nigerians.

Nigeria Naira

What is Mobile Money?
It 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). Today, many Nigerians use informal methods to transfer money to friends and family. These methods present 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 sectors all over Africa by providing media events, news and education in the emerging sector. The training events 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?

The 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 underserved 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, its mobility 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 ensure the service is available to all Nigerians, even those without 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.

Source – AllAfrica.com – Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen, October 3, 2011