Tag: mobile payments nigeria

Mobile payments brings banking services to the unbanked of the world

Customers that have never had access to financial institutions are using smartphones to change their capabilities.

Many of the countries in Africa have been extremely underserved by banks for a range of different reasons, but mobile payments are now bringing financial services to customers who have always been unbanked.

This is especially true in Nigeria, where mobile money is becoming an important driver in the local economy.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has launched a massive initiative to boost the use and access of mobile payments and money. Among the reasons that this is an important effort is that it will provide them with a tremendously larger market as it will mean that those who were underbanked or completely unbanked will suddenly be able to access financial services by way of their mobile devices.

With mobile payments and banking, location no longer presents a barrier to being able to reach consumers.

This access to mobile banking is bringing individuals who had been far removed from participation in much of mainstream commerce into the ability to take part in widespread economic transactions. Therefore, this means that consumers that had previously been outside of the center of commerce will be accessible to industries beyond simple payments and into pensions, insurance, and other areas.

Mobile Banking - AfricaNone of those industries had been able to establish physical locations that would allow them to be able to sell to consumers in the traditional way, but by using mobile commerce and accepting transactions over smartphones, this has changed the game, entirely.

As the growth in telecom and smartphone and mobile technologies continues to grow and expand, and as the financial services industry increasingly rises to the challenge of offering mobile payments and banking services, the situation has altered across entire African countries. People who live in rural communities that are nowhere near phone lines and cables are gaining access to banking and transactions through financial institutions and telecoms such as UBA and Airtel, MTN and Diamond Bank, First Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ecobank and Globacom.

Similarly, M-PESA has been making a tremendous splash in reaching the unbanked and rural Kenya, where the mobile money system has taken off extensively, with 17 million users (one third of the adult population of the country) and 40,000 agents. Every day, that service processes over 2 million transactions.

Mobile payments from Fortumo launched in Nigeria

There is a rapidly growing interest in that country for paying through the use of a smartphone.

In response to the growing interest in mobile payments and money services among the Nigerian people, Fortumo has now launched its latest product, which allows for these transactions within that West African nation.

The connectivity rates and the smartphone based money services in the country are now widely available.

In fact, there are now an estimated 114 million smartphone and other device users who have access to mobile payments across Nigeria. At the moment, the penetration of smartphones among all cell phone users still remains quite low, but Fortumo has taken that into consideration in the design of the services that it has launched in order to cater to nearly anyone who has a mobile device.

A special mobile payments platform that will even work for feature phones has been designed.

Mobile Payments in NigeriaEven though most people in Nigeria do not have a smartphone, Fortumo has built a “special flow” for its cross-platform “mobile payments for feature phones.” This helps the company to be able to provide these services to the majority of the population that use devices without all of the latest bells and whistles.

At the moment, in the country, the smartphone based internet is still in the lead. In fact, 75 percent of all subscriptions to internet services are managed by way of smartphone based platforms. This represents approximately 35 million users. Only one quarter of all of the cell phones in Nigeria are currently smartphones.

Nigeria has made itself an important mobile payments services marketplace in Africa, as it has made specific efforts to use this technology to enhance the ease and convenience with which people can exchange funds or pay for the products and services they want to buy. It is the hope that the use of cell phones as opposed to credit cards or debits for bank accounts – or even cash, for that matter – will help to give the local economy a much needed shot in the arm, and to empower users with additional options for shopping in person or online.