Viewpoint: Nigeria’s Banks Stand to Gain More From Mobile Money Than MTN
By David Whitehouse
MTN Nigeria, which runs the country’s biggest mobile phone network, won a licence from the country’s central bank in July to provide financial services. But replicating the success of MTN’s mobile money offer in east Africa will be a big ask.
The company’s Yello Digital Financial Services unit will provide access to simple money transfers and other financial services.
The potential seems huge: fewer than 6% of Nigerians use their phones for mobile money transactions, compared with 73% of Kenyans.
According to GSMA, which represents mobile operators worldwide, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt are Africa’s three “mobile money sleeping giants”. The three countries could add over 110 million new mobile money accounts in the next five years, GSMA says.
In Nigeria, the banks and the regulators will hold the upper hand in managing take-up.
Photo courtesy of Casey Dlott / USAID.