Only 400,000 Nigerians have mobile money accounts — Survey


December 24, 2012


A new survey has revealed that only 400,000 people are registered with mobile money operators in Nigeria out of 28.6 million adults operating bank accounts in the country.

The survey, which was carried out by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, stated that 4.8 million adults were aware of mobile money but 400,000 people actually have registration with mobile money agents.

The figure represents 1.4 per cent of the bank account holders.

The survey also shows that 0.45 per cent of the total adult population (given as 87.9 million people) in Nigeria use the mobile money facility

It stated that mobile money was mostly used to buy airtime, with 32.9 per cent of registered mobile money users buying airtime on the platform; while 28 per cent use mobile money to send money to people.

According to the survey, 21.8 per cent of users have the platform just to receive money from people, while 17.4 per cent use it to pay bills.

Analysts, however, believe that little had been achieved in the area of mobile money considering achievements recorded in other instruments introduced to drive financial inclusion and the cash-less policy.

The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc said last week that the number of registered Point of Sale terminals on the Central Terminal Management System managed by NIBBS increased from 31,000 to 185, 000 from January to November, 2012.

Similarly, total installed Automated Teller Machines in the industry rose from about 8,900 as at June 2009 to about 10, 221 as at July 2012, while debit/credit card issued in the industry rose from 16 million in December 2011 to about 24 million as at July 31, 2012.

The Managing Director, Sotice Investment Company Limited, Mr. Adedayo Toluwase, said mobile money had achieved low success rate in the country with 0.25 per cent of the total population on the mobile platform.

He said, “The CBN has not done enough in enlightening people on mobile money. In Kenya, mobile money has recorded huge success and it’s one of the frequently used tools to send and receive money. You don’t need to go through the stress of having an account before you can access mobile money; so what can be the reasons people are not embracing it? That should be the question the CBN and other agents involved in driving financial inclusion need to answer. Also, I expect them to learn from Kenya and if possible adopt the Kenyan model.”

The Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Ms. Modupe Ladipo, said 48.1 million adults could be encouraged to use mobile money.

“The top factors, which would encourage them to use mobile money – understand how mobile money works, having a mobile money agent close to residence/place of work, feeling mobile money is safe and when many people start using mobile money,” she added.

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