15 June 2015, Lagos – Director, Banking and Payments Systems Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and Chairman, Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum, NeFF, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, has said that in spite of challenges facing mobile money adoption in Nigeria, over $5 billion (about N985 billion) worth of mobile money transactions are still processed annually. He stated this while addressing newsmen on the sideline of the unveiling of the NeFF 2014 annual report in Lagos.
Fatokun said despite the challenges facing mobile money adoption in the country, significant progress has been made and continuous improvements are being made to increase mobile money penetration. He said: “The mobile money space started in Nigeria about four years ago and currently we have licensed 21 operators.
It is not right to say that we have not made progress but it is right to say that our expectations of mobile money have not been met. And this may be because we are a little bit ambitious in setting the target.
But even at that, each year, transactions in mobile money still run into more than $5 billion. But what we have noticed is that most of the transactions in mobile money are either payment for subscription or remittances.
“What we have discovered that has led to the slow growth is the fact of the agency because for the mobile money to be successful, you must have agents. So the CBN did a research and came out with provisions on agency banking which the mobile money operators are keying into. Just this year, we released another circular on super agent structure, such that companies can come up to provide super agents activities.
Then financial institutions will key into this. Of course, we expect that most of the telecommunication companies, if not all, will serve as super agents. And some of them have actually shown interests. Two already have our approval in principle to make their agents available to financial institutions for financial services. Once this is fully deployed, we will see a great uptake in the use of mobile money.”
Speaking on the report, he said: “The report is to educate, enlighten the public about the measures of avoiding fraud especially electronic fraud in the e-payment space. And that summarise what is in the report in the sense that you have articles there to sensitise, educate, enlighten and open the eyes of the public to trends in electronic fraud and how such can be avoided. There are also recommendations for the future.
We have articles from various contributors from the banking and the information and technology industries. I recommend it as something that should be read by everyone including those without bank accounts. This is because the report will help to be aware of what you need to avoid if you want your accounts to be very safe.”
He noted that, “The volume and value of electronic transactions have been on the increase” and that while “the value and volume of fraud though globally is on the increase but in Nigeria, we count ourselves as one of those fortunate as there has been reduction in fraud incidents.
*Jonah Nwokpoku – Vanguard