NIGERIA:Value of mobile money transactions falls by 23% in H1’18

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The value of mobile money transactions  through licensed mobile payment operators (interscheme)  fell by 23 percent, year-on-year (YoY) in the first half of 2018 (H1’18). The volume of transactions however rose 53 percent within the same period.

Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) disclosed this in its electronic payment (e-payment) factsheet for H1’18. According to NIBSS, the  value of mobile money (interscheme) transactions dropped by 23 percent to N429.79 billion in H1’18 from N555.83 billion in H1’17. On the other hand, the volume of transactions rose to 35.94 million from 24.17 million recorded in H1’17, representing 53 percent increase.

NIBSS also disclosed that the number of mobile payment operators customers fell by 53 percent to 1.50 million in H1’18 from 2.3 million in H1’17. However, the number of Mobile Money agents enrolled increased by 138 percent to 13,113 agents in H1’18 from 5,517 agents enrolled in H1’17.

Commenting on the development, President, Association of Mobile Money Agents in Nigeria (AMMAN), Victor Olojo, said: “The reason for the decline in value of mobile money transaction is lack of good incentives from operators. To this end, many agents make use of their personal bank accounts and mobile apps (because it is cheaper and yields more profit) for mobile money transactions thereby making it difficult for the actual volume of transactions to be tracked.

“Secondly is the influx of multiple players into the sector, bulk of which are not directly licensed operators. These players may be unwilling to report their transaction log as mobile payment/money transactions, thereby causing a reason for a decline. ” To salvage the situation more sanitization of the sector is needed to curb the activities of unlicensed operators. More incentives should also come from operators to make the business encouraging for players”.

Olojo however expressed optimism of increased value and volume of mobile money transactions in H2’18. “In my opinion, things will certainly get better and the transaction value and volume will also pick up as well. Don’t forget the general economic outlook hasn’t been so good for the lower class which has drastically also affected their purchasing power. The usual trend is that spending activities usually picks up toward the end of the year”.