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The Hype About Mobile Money by AjanleKoko: 11:59am On Apr 12, 2010
In the last couple of years, there has been a frenzy about 'Mobile Money'. A couple of success stories about mobile banking in Kenya and Afghanistan seems to have triggered a whole new craze in the tech industry about mobile money, and its potential to revolutionalize banking, whatever that means. Even the Bill Gates foundation have contributed significant millions of dollars towards the development of mobile money, as it relates to the 'unbanked', that segment of society not captured by conventional banking.

What puzzles me even more is, the initiative is not even driven by the financial sector but the tech sector. I would like to ask the house, what exactly do you understand by mobile money? What is it expected to deliver? And how come the banks have been totally ignoring it for now? Will it really change anything anywhere?

Your thoughts.
Re: The Hype About Mobile Money by Seun(m): 12:53pm On Nov 01, 2010
Can you link to some of those article?
Re: The Hype About Mobile Money by AjanleKoko: 2:43am On Jun 15, 2011
This is coming really late. I'd forgotten all about this thread:

The GSMA (GSM Association) has a mobile money initiative targeting the world's unbanked. Their blog is here.
The GSM operators in Africa are all involved in one Mobile Money scheme or the other. MTN has MTN Banking, Airtel/Zain has Zap, and the most popular service in Africa is Safaricom's (Vodafone subsidiary in Kenya) M-Pesa.

The CBN in Nigeria has been working on licensing mobile money operators, you can read about that here. Also you can find a lot of stories on Mobile Money in Nigeria if you look at the following news stories:

http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/business/infotech/7989-making-mobile-payment-fraud-proof.html
http://allafrica.com/stories/201103211455.html
http://www.thetidenewsonline.com/?p=12471

A chap by name Emmanuel Okoegwale runs a local industry blog monitoring Mobile money in Nigeria and Africa, you can have a look at that here.
Re: The Hype About Mobile Money by cecegorz(m): 3:36pm On Aug 24, 2011
Mobile money is surely the next big thing in electronic banking services industry in the country, that is, if we get it RIGHT!
Like AJ mentioned, Emma Okoagwale of Mobilemoney Africa has been the voice crying in the wilderness for some years now, in terms of creating awareness and hosting seminars on the merits/challenges of the services.

AjanleKoko:

What puzzles me even more is, the initiative is not even driven by the financial sector but the tech sector. I would like to ask the house, what exactly do you understand by mobile money? What is it expected to deliver? And how come the banks have been totally ignoring it for now? Will it really change anything anywhere?
Your thoughts.

Drawing from the run away success of Kenyans 'M-Pesa', which is a money transfer system targeted at mostly the under-banked/un-banked (people without account in any bank) using their mobile phones as the only requirement for the service delivery, the telecom providers have decided to run the services in the country with the CBN's approval.
Interestingly, most of them have been running the pilot scheme with selected banks and other private institutions and all things being equal, with CBN's approval and issuance of the Licenses, we expect them to GO LIVE! before the year runs out.
In terms of what it will deliver, the potentials are as huge as the mobile phone industry pre-2011, but reaching that potential will depend on how the industry successfully navigates the tricky parts.

Mobile money is built on the fact that in developing countries like ours, you may have just about 30% of the adult population using financial institutions for their transactions, leaving out the remaining 80% who carries cash around( mostly the uneducated rural dwellers), and since up to 90% of these adults all have mobile phones, why not tap into that market by providing them a platform to receive money from their children/relatives in the cities without going into any bank?

Now with Banks jerking up their account opening amounts from 2k to 25k as shown by UBA recently, most lower income citizens will be kissing good bye to the banking halls and that's where mobile money comes to the rescue. With their mobile phone numbers acting as the mobile money account number, they can transfer/receive money (called cash out/cash in) from another person sent through the phone. Then, there's an agent that will serve as a bridge between the customers and the Banks, the agent dispenses cash to the customers on presentation of the token PIN received on their phone and the same time loads the e-money for a customer that wants to buy.

That is why i believe that the SIM reg exercise will do a whole lot of good in this country if the integrity of that database is maintained and managed very well as identity is a very critical part of the mobile money business, the success of Kenyan's experience in mobile money is hugely because the country has a reliable ID system which we have woefully failed to implement here.

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