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July 19, 2011updated 04 Apr 2017 4:15pm

Monitise hails Nigeria m-commerce pilot a success

Monitise has announced it is ready to roll out its mobile payments and banking services in Nigeria following a successful pilot.

By James Ratcliff

Monitise has announced it is ready to roll out its mobile payments and banking services in Nigeria following a successful pilot.

The service enables people to deposit cash and cheques, send money to each other and withdraw funds without a bank account through mobile phones and a network of agents in cornershops and kiosks.

Since the pilot began in March, Monitise has seen more than 6,000 people sign up to the scheme. The company has built a network of 160 agents in the cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan.

The company has announced that it expects the Central Bank of Nigeria to grant it a full licence to operate a mobile payments service in the country soon.

In a statement, Monitise said: “The success of the scheme is proof of the massive appetite for mobile banking and payments in Nigeria, particularly among the unbanked population and in rural areas where physical banking infrastructure is undeveloped.”

"There are 90 million adults in Nigeria but only about 20 million have access to financial services – but there are more than 100 million mobile phone subscribers," said Monitise Africa’s managing director Prateek Shrivastava.

“This is why the mobile is such a vitally important channel to reach out to a large population with trusted and secure bank financial services.

“The cost of building a single bank branch in Nigeria is around $300,000 and approximately $500,000 per year to run. The number of people who qualify for a bank account does not justify the building of bank branches across the country.”

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