The snail-paced mobile money operations have finally hit the N815.46 billion and 76, 852, 409 marks in total value and volume of transactions respectively, with 24, 389,263 subscriber-base as at September 2015.
The development, which marked a new feat, was however, despite the rapid growth of the country’s mobile telephony, put at over 120 million subscriber-base.
The transactions were recorded with the scheme’s product offerings like the cash in/cash out; bills payment; funds transfer (to other accounts); and airtime top up.
The Director of Banking and Payments System Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), ‘Dipo Fatokun, disclosed this yesterday at a three-day workshop organised by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents, in Ilorin, Kwara State, with the theme: “Development in E-banking, Mobile Payment System and Deposit Insurance in Nigeria.”
Represented by the Assistant Director, Banking and Payment, Shola Agboola, he lamented that while the majority of the unbanked have access to mobile phone, they remained outside the mobile payment system.
He pointed out that several challenges that have bedeviled the initiative also prevented the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises from creating jobs through mobile payments system.
Fatokun, however, assured that efforts are being made by CBN in collaboration with various stakeholders to surmount hitches such as epileptic power supply, poor telecommunications connectivity, lack of synergy between MMOs and telecommunications, need for enhanced customer awareness and lack of awareness of the various policies and products.
Meanwhile, CBN may be inching close to the adoption of a framework to license super agents for mobile money operations as indications have emerged that the process is at its final stage.
The move, aimed at consolidating and deepening the mobile payment system to drive financial inclusion and economic growth, would also be a response to requests by three major telecommunications firm in the country to become super agents.
The licence, when finally approved, would act as catalyst to widespread adoption of mobile money services across Nigeria, as the telecommunications network coverage and footprints would cover the rural areas.
Fatokun expressed hope that immediately they are approved to go commercial, other telecommunications companies would follow.
According to him, there is need to leverage existing business network infrastructures as a practical and well thought out strategy for driving financial inclusion of the unbanked individuals.
He noted that the primary objectives of the adoption of the mobile money were to foster financial inclusion, efficient monetary policy management, deliver on employment, efficiency in payment system, facilitation of domestic and international remittances, transaction cost reduction and facilitate economic growth in the medium to long run.
On employment generation via mobile money operation, he hinted that about 98, 158 agents have enrolled across the country as Mobile Money Operators (MMOs).
On challenges affecting MSMES in the process of job creation via mobile payments system, Fatokun assured that efforts are being made by CBN in collaboration with various stakeholders to surmount hitches such as epileptic power supply, poor telecommunications connectivity, lack of synergy between MMOs and telecommunications; who are the super agents and lack of awareness of the various policies and products.
He reiterated that there was huge untapped potential for financial services at the micro level of the economy, adding that banks require the co-operation of all stakeholders to achieve the nations Vision 20:2020 project.
Source: The Guardian Nigeria