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Nigeria: Mobile banking to increase– Report

By Dayo Oketola

A study by Juniper Research has revealed that the mobile banking systems, globally, is expected to reach 400 million, double the current figure by 2012,

The study titled, “Mobile Banking Strategies: Applications, Opportunities and Markets 2010-2015” forecast steady increase in user uptake of mobile banking services, and in individual and gross transaction volumes over the projected period.

The spread of mobile and SMS-based banking services will occur in every economic region, but with the most significant increase in number of users predicted to be in the Far East and China especially.

The study, which surveyed the mobile banking deployments and strategies adopted by 77 banks from all over the world, as well as 21 mobile banking service vendors, found that there was little resistance to the technology‘s adoption, as most banks sought new and increased service options for their customers, and mobile banking had become a “must have” medium.

Over 80 per cent of banks have some form of mobile banking service, according to the report and a significant future growth driver will be the need for more and more customers to view their account balance on the move.

Mobile banking system, according to experts, is capable of stirring exponential growth in m-payment, similar to that of Nigeria‘s mobile subscription, which grew from 450,000 fixed lines to 55 million mobile subscribers in nine years.

They noted that m-payment would reach over 80million mobile subscribers in a country of 140 million people with only 22 million bank accounts and less than 10,000 bank branches.

This will also include people without access to formal financial services in urban and rural areas.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will issue provisional approval to prospective operators this month, to commence mobile payment in the country.

The Acting Director, Banking Operations, CBN, Mr. Abayomi Atoloye, had early in the year, said that the apex bank had received many applications for licence to operate m-payment in the country.

He added that a policy and oversight unit had been set up to ensure compliance and recommend modalities for approval.

Mobile Media Info Tech Limited, Eartholuem Networks, Tagattitude Nigeria, Mtec Communications, TXTPAY, Easipay, United Bank for Africa Plc and Guranty Trust Bank Plc have applied for m-payment licences from the CBN. Others included Ingres Quality Rollout, Pagatech and Celltrust.