No doubt, the cashless economy project of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is being pursued gradually but vigorously and the introduction of mobile money in Nigeria in recent times can be better appreciated when appraised within this greater scheme of things. In Nigeria, as it is in other developing nations where mobile money operations have successfully taken off, the use of mobile phones as payment platforms has been necessitated by the need to include a greater proportion of the unbanked and under-banked populations in the financial system. Much-quoted statistics for instance reveal that with a population of 167 million people, only 25 million bank accounts exist in Nigeria. Conversely, the country can boast of 90 million phone subscribers (and that figure continues to grow).
The best model yet of a mobile money platform in Africa and the world over, has been Kenya’s M-PESA. Launched in March 2007 by Safaricom, an affiliate of Vodafone, M-PESA’s subscriber base had reached 6.5 million by May 2009 with 2 million daily transactions. In 2010, with over 700 million domestic and international money transfer transactions, M-PESA accounted for $130 million in revenues. Presently, it boasts of over 20 million subscribers and processes mobile banking transactions for over 70% of the country’s adult population of 14 million. For a more populous nation as Nigeria, therefore, the potentials for financial transactions through the integration of financial services with mobile telephony are vast. True, mobile money operations have taken off with such visible brands as Paga (Pagatech), PocketMoni (eTranzact), VCash (VTNetwork) U-Mo (UBA) and IBTC MobileMoney gaining top of mind awareness among consumers. Other brands and players, less visible but equally operating, just starting up, or recently licensed include M-Kudi, PayCom, Eartholeum, Fortis, Monitise, GTBank, EAZYmoney (Zenithbank), Chams Nigeria, Corpereti Services, Parkway, First Bank, EcoBank, etc.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document