Nigeria’s mobile money transactions now N430bn

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria’s total mobile money transactions have increased to N430 billion about three years after it was introduced, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which chose the bank-led model for the initiative, has said.

A  Deputy Governor with the apex bank in  Research & International Relations Department, Kingsley Nwaigwe told reporters that the mobile payment system project took off first with the licencing of 11 operators, adding that right now,  there are about 24 licensed operators of the scheme in the country.

The CBN deputy governor identified mobile money operator, payment agent, banks and subscribers as the four main players in the nation’s mobile payment ecosystem. According to him, the mobile money operator appoints the payment agent who receives or pays money at various locations on its behalf, adding that a customer identification process has been put in place and graduated into three tiers to correspond with volume of transactions.

The model adopted by the CBN has been criticized and blamed for the slow pace of adoption of the initiative in the country. Analysts say the model rendered the mobile operator, which has the infrastructure, inactive and excluded in the scheme of things.

UBA/Afripay, GTBank Mobile Money, Pagatech, eTranzact, Monetise, Eartholeum, Paycom, FET, Ecobank, Kudi, FirstBank/FirstMonie and Fortis Mobile Money were the first firms that got provisional licences from the CBN that allowed them to provide products such as electronic payments through mobile phones.

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