Mobile Money Gets Boost as Central Bank of Nigeria Loosens Restriction on Telcos
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
With the review of the mobile money guidelines, which allows for the participation of the telecommunication companies, the adoption of this form of banking is expected to get a significant boost.
Surveys had attributed the slow pace of adopting the mobile money services to the low public awareness on the payment transfer system. Another challenge had been low number of agents as well as inadequate infrastructure.
Already, three of the telecommunication companies in Nigeria have already applied for super-agents license to render mobile money services.
But the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that it decided to review its policy on mobile money to accommodate the telcos because it realised that they (telcos) have huge infrastructure and actually provide the enabling infrastructure for mobile money agents to work.
“The telcos have outlets and so they can come in as super-agents, which means, we can leverage on some of these infrastructure to provide mobile financial services and that is basically what we are doing. So, all outlets of the telecommunication companies are going to act as agents,” the Deputy Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Musa Itokpa Jimoh advised.
From July next year, the capital requirement for being a mobile money operator shall be N2 billion The CBN introduced mobile money services to provide basic financial services and create payment access especially to Nigerians without bank accounts, as well as to help drive financial inclusion in the country.