Monitise Granted Licence to Bring Mobile Money to Nigeria

Business Fights Poverty

Monitise plc, the technology company delivering mobile banking, payments and commerce networks worldwide, is set to build Nigeria’s first mobile shared financial services platform after being granted a Mobile Payment System Provider licence to provide mobile money services by the country’s Central Bank.

The Monitise technology platform is designed to be shared by various banks and payment providers, enabling them to be able to offer mobile payment services under their own brands. Monitise, with its local partners, has set up a network of agents in Nigeria that can be utilised by banks and payment service providers to offer branchless banking services to both the banked and unbanked.

As the Monitise network grows by attracting more banks, agents and merchants, people in the community will have a genuine choice of financial services, thereby facilitating financial inclusion within the economy.

Monitise received a provisional licence in December 2010 and successfully launched a mobile payments pilot in four cities and 11 rural locations, earlier this year.

Within the trial, the Monitise pilot attracted c7,000 users, handled payments totalling more than 25 million Naira (£100,000) and created nearly 170 local jobs through its network of approved agents and support staff.

Using the service, allows consumers to securely:

• register for the service via their handset
• deposit money at a registered agent
• send money to others, regardless whether the recipient is registered or not
• top up airtime for their prepaid mobile
• pay salaries to staff and employees
• withdraw funds at a registered agent
• check transaction histories

The next steps are to enable Nigerian banks and other financial institutions to provide mass market mobile phone based financial services including loans, insurance, pensions products and savings. This platform truly increases access to financial services without needing to build and operate bank branches across the country.

Welcoming the Central Bank of Nigeria’s approval Prateek Shrivastava, Managing Director of Monitise Africa, said: “We thank the Central Bank of Nigeria for its support and allowing us the opportunity to fully scale up our mobile shared services platform for Nigeria to empower millions of Nigerians. The platform harnesses economies of scale to reduce the cost of the service to consumers thereby driving adoption and consequently financial inclusion.

“A key advantage of the platform which Monitise is creating in Nigeria is that it can be used by any local bank or payment provider to offer secure and flexible mobile financial management to their customers. We look forward to working with new partners across Nigeria to develop the country’s shared services. The work we do in Nigeria provides us with a template to build shared service platforms in other countries in Africa.”

Monitise plc, Group Chief Executive Alastair Lukies said: “We are committed to bringing the latest developments in mobile financial management not only to Africa but across the world’s other emerging markets, to extend the benefits and opportunities of financial inclusion and mobile money for all, truly bringing the unbanked into the financial fold.

“We will continue to work closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria and local partners to extend the services we offer and to enable anyone in Nigeria with a mobile handset to access the full range of mobile financial services.”

Monitise has been supported by the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), which has provided grant funding to assist in the launch of its mobile banking and payments service.

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