Why Nigeria must embrace mobile money and agent banking
By Henry Chukwu
Despite the rapid growth in many other emerging markets and the high penetration rate of mobile phones in Nigeria (60.4% of Nigerian adults), the uptake and awareness of Mobile Money and Agent Banking have been persistently low at 1% and 16% respectively according to the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2016 Survey.
Mobile money is an obvious channel for Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid to use as they adopt financial services for the first time. Up to 25 mobile money Operators (MMOs) have been licensed since the launch of mobile money service in Nigeria in 2009. Despite this large number of MMOs, high mobile phone and SIM card ownership, mobile money uptake and usage is still low in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued the Guidelines for Agent Banking and Agent Banking Relationships in Nigeria in 2013; and the Operating Framework for Super Agent in 2015 in its bid to deepen the uptake of mobile money and agent banking products. However, the uptake of mobile money and agent banking services remain low in Nigeria.
Photo courtesy of uditha wickramanayaka.