MTN, GTB, Fortis strike mobile money deal

By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria

A tripartite deal has been struck by MTN, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and mobile money firm Fortis Mobile Money to roll out mobile money services in Nigeria.

Unveiling the deal in Lagos, Brett Goshen, CEO of MTN Nigeria, and Segun Agbaje, CEO of GTB, said the deal would redefine the concept of banking in the country and help bring the unbanked into the banking sector.

Agbaje said the deal marked a new dawn in the banking history of Nigeria as it is a partial fulfillment of financial inclusiveness, which is one of the goals of FSS 2020, a brainchild of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to him, the partnership will dominate the entire landscape and become a model for other African countries to copy.

Goshen said the much awaited mobile money service would dramatically change the face of communications and financial services in Nigeria. He said it provided a whole new and exciting experience to the MTN customers, adding that not only would mobile money take banking to the previously unbanked, but it also opens up a wide range of benefits and value added services to the banked sector, including corporate, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual users.

“Mobile money subscribers will be able to transfer money, pay bills, top up on airtime and shop, all from their mobile phones. It is innovative, easy to use, convenient and very secure,” he said.

MTN’s CEO said: “Reliable sources estimate that as many as two thirds of mobile phone users in Nigeria do not currently access formal financial services, the majority of them living in rural communities and fringe urban areas.

For MTN, mobile money represents another opportunity to bring additional added value services to our over 40 million and growing subscriber base. The use of mobile money products will not only improve the quality of people's lives but it will also encourage banking as opposed to storing one's earning in cash. Nigeria will also benefit as the impact of mobile money will flow into other segments of the society and have a multiplier effect on the economy.”

He added that the launch of mobile money service is one step further in MTN's vision to be the leader in Nigerian telecommunications, data and ICT services.

“World wide, smart phones have driven an explosive growth in mobile data usage and Nigeria is no exception. In addition, the increasing convergence of industries such as banking, media, IT and entertainment with telecoms also provides us with further opportunities to meet the needs of our customers in the short and longer term horizons,” he said.

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