Expert Taps Social Protection, Others to Drive Mobile Money Growth in 2016

Mobile_Money_AfricaEMMANUEL Okoegwale, principal associate, Mobilemoney Africa, has said that the Nigerian social protection programme that will reach over 20 million vulnerable beneficiaries receiving N5, 000 monthly.

He said if well managed, it will be a change driver for adoption of mobile money services in 2016.
“These are compelling services that will change the mobile financial services industry in 2016 but cooperation is needed among providers to achieve meaningful results. The social protection program alone will gulp over a trillion naira and if 30% of the transaction volume passes through the mobile money and agency network, it will be a significant boost,” he said.

It would be recalled that the federal government plans to pay unemployed Nigerians a monthly stipend of N5, 000 from next year as part of a social protection programme.
He also identified other regulatory frameworks that will help to shape mobile money business in the country in the coming year, these according to him include super agency, agency banking and international remittances.
“There are about three other regulatory frameworks that will attract new players in 2016 aside mobile money. They are super agency, agency banking and international remittances. All are closely linked to some extent with mobile money,” he added.

Okoegwale however identified factors responsible for the failure of bank led mobile money model in Nigeria these according to him lack of trust by banks on agents, lack of understanding of low value business, banks providing similar services to mobile money on mobile and online banking among others.
“Banks already have most of the services available on mobile money through mobile banking, online banking etc.

However, these services do not meet the needs of the unbanked without the benefit of an agent network. Banks at least in most parts of Africa, still struggle to understand low value, high business platform, managing third party partnerships like agents and having high risk perceptions which impacts negatively on their ability to deploy platforms, and put in place risk mitigation plans to address their perceptions.

Banks will only be successful when they can actually see fully branded agents with Bank’s brand colors all around the country. Until Banks trust the agents enough to place their full brands on them, then they will be success. Banks must build the capacity to trust their agents because they don’t trust their agents as it is presently,” he noted.

Elsewhere, WorldRemit an international remittance provider in a recent report identified how mobile money growth will look like in 2016.

“As Mobile Money continues to gain popularity in the developing world, instant mobile-to-mobile transfers will become the global standard for sending money from person to person across distances. 2015 saw a series of ground-breaking partnerships between Africa’s largest telcos, banks and global money transfer apps like WorldRemit. This trend will continue through 2016 as consumer expectations settle on instant mobile-to-mobile transfers as the benchmark for international remittance.”

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