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KonkNaija Media | May 3, 2016

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Nigeria:Focused Collaboration Will Drive Mobile Money Transfer

| On 12, Apr 2013

Regional Vice President, North, Central and West Africa for Western Union Company, Aida Diarra, has said that only collaboration that is focused on actual financial inclusion will drive mobile money penetration in the country.

Diarra, who was in Lagos recently at the launch of cross-border mobile money transfer services between Western Union and Virtual Terminal Network (VTN), told THISDAY that she was pleased with the current level of penetration of cashless economy in Nigeria. She however, stressed the need for increased collaboration that is focused on the unbanked and underserved in rural communities.

According to her, “customers need various options in mobile money transfer service and Western Union will continue to expand its services through focused collaboration in order to meet customers’ needs.”

Speaking on its collaboration with VTN, which led to the launch of mobile money transfer service in Nigeria between both parties, Diarra said the launch would offer Nigerians the opportunity to use their mobile phones to direct Western Union remittances into their electronic VTN VCASH account.

VCASH subscribers, she added, could through the process, directly transfer individual western remittances they receive that is up to $300 and a combined daily remittances up to $800, into their accounts.

“Money in their VCASH account can be sent to other VCASH users, known as a person to person (p2p) transfer, or be used to pay bills and purchase goods and services. VCASH users can also deposit funds into their accounts in any Nigerian commercial banks,” Diarra said.

She added that the collaborative launch of the international mobile money transfer service between Western Union and VTN, would enable Nigerians to move international money transfers to their mobile phones, but called on telecoms service providers to sustain the initiative by improving on their services deliveries and to increase bandwidth that would enhance easy access to money transfer.

“With a population of about 160 million, and with over 114 million active subscribers using mobile phones, coupled with the ability to receive $21 billion in annual remittances in the year ending 2012, according to World Bank report, Nigeria stands a better position to effectively gain from the benefits of transferring Western Union money remittances into their mobile phones and use same for payment of bills and purchase of goods and services,” Diarra said.

Chief Executive Officer of VTN, Mr. Peter Ojo, who commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its initiative in introducing cashless economy, said the non-bank model approach adopted by the CBN, which allows institutions outside banks to facilitate international remittances to both bank and non-bank recipients, under strict regulatory guidelines, would enhance greater economic prosperity at all levels.

He said VTN was ready to drive mobile money transfer service through the collaboration, adding that VTN already had over 500, 000 customers with over 5, 000 trained agents spread across the country. He explained that more agents were currently undergoing training that would increase visibility of its agents in serving Nigerians better.