Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) recorded N815.46 billion in transaction volume of 87.95 deals as at September 2015
• Mobile money operators (MMOs) generated a total of N815.46 billion in their transactions as at September 2015.
• The amount was realized from services rendered to 24.38 million subscribers
• A total of 76.95 million deals was also recorded during the period by the MMOs.
• MMO leverage on the expanding service of telecom subscribers
• It is aimed at reducing the large number of the unbanked especially in the rural communities
Mobile money operators (MMOs) across the country generated a total of N815.46 billion in theirtransactions as at September 2015. The amount was realized from services rendered to 24.38 million subscribers who patronized the system mainly forsavings, payments and transfers ina total of 78.95deals.
MMOs are agents licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to undertake the rendering of specific financial services aimed at enhancing financial inclusion and e-payment initiatives while leveraging on the rapid expansion of the telecommunication industry. The system has since inception in 2010 resulted in deep penetration of banking services to the rural areas in particular, which did not enjoy adequate service of the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
These facts were disclosed by the CBN Director, Banking and Payment System Department, Mr ‘Dipo Fatokun, at the on-going 2015 capacity building workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) holding in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, sponsored by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC),
According to Fatokun, the CBN has leveraged on the rapid growth of mobile telephony in the country which now has over 400 million subscribers, to reach the rural dwellers majority of who are unbanked but have access to the mobile phone.
Fatokun, who spoke through Samson Olosola, CBN Assistant Director, Banking and Payments System, noted that leverage existing business network infrastructure, as a practical means of driving financial inclusion targeted at the unbanked in Nigeria, was a well thought-out strategy.
Giving details of the transactions, Fotokun stated that a total of 98,158 mobile money agents enrolled for the scheme as at September 30, 2015 while a total of 24,389,263 subscribers was recorded under the scheme.
He further disclosed that as at end of September, transaction value totaling N815,464,917,062.94 was carried out by the mobile money operators across the country in a transaction volume of 76,952,409 deals.
Fatokun stressed that “one of the cardinal objectives for introducing mobile money in Nigeria is to stimulate financial inclusion,” adding “Financial inclusion enables underserved people and communities to have access to financial services.” He described the benefits of financial inclusion to include enhanced economic opportunities, boosting of productivity in various sectors as well as contributing to economic development.
Commending the success story of MMO since its inception in 2010, Fotokun identified six participants he described as key in the effective implementation of the MMO system. These are the regulating bodies, mainly CBN and the National Communication Commission (NCC); MMOs licensed by the CBN; infrastructure providers engaged in switching, processing and settlement.
Others are Mobile Money Agents who are regulated through guidelines by the CBN; Consumers – end-users of mobile money services as well as other service providers who are described as spin-off service providers.
Fatokun also explained that expanding the frontier of financial services to reach the unbanked would contribute to the growth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), especially leveraging the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) programme of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development where farmers, through the use of mobile phones, receive seeds, chemicals and fertilisers.
He observed that the Mobile Money Payment system had led to employment generation as its trickle-down effects resulted in the emergence of operators, agents (presently over 98,000), printers, advertising agencies and others.
Other benefits of the Mobile Money initiative, according to Fatokun, include “increased sales from additional foot-traffic, differentiation from other businesses the agent might normally operate, reputation from affiliation with well-known financial institutions, additional revenue from commissions and incentives.”
He however listed the challenge of epileptic power supply, poor telecommunication connectivity, lack of synergy between MMOs, as well as lack of awareness of the various policies and products as part of the factors militating against the growth of the Mobile Money system.
The challenges notwithstanding, the CBN Director noted that the apex regulatory body and other stakeholders are putting in efforts to exploit potential opportunities in the financial services sector, especially at the micro level of the Nigerian economy.
“There is a huge untapped potential for financial services at the micro-level of the Nigerian economy. The CBN and other stakeholders are putting in efforts to fill the identified gaps.
“Tremendous growth had been recorded by the bank in terms of encouraging individuals to be gainfully employed outside the normal public/private sectors rush,” he said.
He further noted that the CBN requires the co-operation of all stakeholders to achieve the nation’s Vision 20:2020 project which could be enhanced by driving the mobile money project to ensure that the large number of unbanked Nigerians are drastically reduced.
In order to enhance the operations of the mobile money system, the Nigeria Inter-Banks Settlement System (NIBSS) authorities assured that adequate measured had been put in place to secure the huge investments and deposits made by MMOs and subscribers.
According to NIBSS, the introduction of the ongoing Bank Verification Number (BVN) launched by NIBSS in conjunction with the CBN and the banks was part of the measures taken to ensure adequate security of the investments in the mobile market system. Other means include credit checks, know your customer (KYC), fraud management and transaction authentication.