Only 800,000 Nigerian adults currently use mobile money, representing 0.8 percent of the adult population.
“Of the 0.8m mobile money users, 0.5m are registered and 0.3m are not registered,” EFInA 2014report said.
According to the Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey, EFInA report showed that only 11.9 million adults, representing 12.7 per cent of the adult population, are aware of mobile money.
Uptake of Mobile Money
Since 11.9million adults were aware of mobile money, one would expect that the number of users would be higher, but the survey showed that 90.8 percent of Nigerian adults never used mobile money services, while the percentage of those that “used it before but not any more” took 2.8 percent.
Also, while 4 percent of them are registered mobile money users, 2.4 percent use mobile money services but not registered.”
Source of Information about Mobile Money
Of the 11.9million adults that’re aware of mobile money, 36.8 percent said television was their source of information, followed by information from friend/family with 36.6 percent; radio (28.4 percent); bank (21.9 percent), awareness via SMS (14.7 percent), while newspaper and internet took 13.6 percent and 8.3 percent respectively.
Mobile Banking Watch take
Considering the fact that the success of mobile money can’t be complete without the contributions of financial institutions, one would expect that bank would be the major source of information in the area of awareness.
However, we can’t overrule the possibility that awareness commercials about mobile money were bank-sponsored.
Recently, CBN’s Head of Payment System Policy and Oversight Division of Banking and Payments Department, Musa Itopa-Jimoh attributed the success of mobile money services in Nigeria to the efforts of over 78,000 agents and 21 licensed mobile money operators, and was optimistic that the partnership of network providers and banks will further enhance mobile money services.
But, EFInA survey showed that mobile money awareness and usage remained low considering Nigeria’s population.
This means that mobile money awareness campaigns are needed in order to consolidate on the 0.8m mobile money users.
What Nigerians Use Mobile Money for
If we have 800, 000 Nigerian adults (registered and unregistered) using mobile money services, you may want to ask, what do they use if for?
“The mobile money service most frequently used is airtime purchase. The first transaction conducted using mobile money is also airtime purchase,” page 49 of “Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey” said.
42.1 percent use mobile money services for airtime purchase, sending money (20.2%), receiving money (14.4%), while 8.8percent, 7.1 percent use services of mobile money for paying for goods or services, and paying bills respectively.
What are they likely to use mobile money for
Page 50 of the report subtitled, “Potential Demand for Mobile Money” that is what will they be using mobile money for among 13 areas listed.
The listed options were schools fees, transport, hospital bills, airline tickets, hotel bills, government taxes, and international remittances.
Others were loan repayments, loan disbursements, receiving pension, pension contributions, insurance/microinsurance, and non-interest banking products.
Of them all, the top three transactions that would consider using mobile money were: for paying school fees (71.5%), transport (56.4percent), and hospital bills (52.6%).
Nigerian Banks Get 5.3million Customers in 730 days
A total of 5.3 million unbanked adults opened bank accounts between 2012 and 2014, EFIna report showed.
It said the number of Nigerian adults nationwide who are banked increased from 28.6 million in 2012 to 33.9 million in 2014, showing significant increase from the 32.5 per cent of the nation’s adult population that were banked in 2012 to 36.3 per cent in 2014.
EFInA report pointed out that 36.9 million adults (39.5 percent) were still financially excluded.
How to Solve the Problem of Financial Exclusion
“Regulators and financial services providers should focus on improving the financial capability of the financially excluded by ensuring that they understand what products are available, how they can benefit from them, and how they can access/use them,” EFInA researchers advised.
Punch Mobilequoted the Chief Executive Officer of EFInA, Ms. Modupe Ladipo, as saying, “The good news is that, since EFInA started measuring financial access in 2008, the number of Nigerian adults with access to formal financial services (such as bank accounts, insurance, pensions, mobile money or microfinance bank products) has increased by 25 million.
“That is larger than the entire population of many African countries. However, given Nigeria’s population growth, the number of financially-excluded adults still remains high.
To reduce financial exclusion, financial services providers will need to be more effective in reaching those in the most excluded groups, including youth, women, northern Nigerians, and those living in rural areas.”
The report also added that the “uptake of insurance” is also low, with only one million adults (1.1 per cent of the adult population) using insurance, although 14.3 million adults said that they would be interested in micro insurance products.
Other areas covered by the survey
Other interesting areas of EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey are: financial literacy, progress of the National financial inclusion strategy targets, opportunities for deepening financial inclusion, and factors that would enhance financial inclusion among others.
EFInA means Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access. It is a financial sector development organisation that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria.
EFInA was established in late 2007 and funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Telephone: +234 1 270 2028; +234 1 632 0825
- Punch Mobile: Banks get 5.3million customers in two years
- EFInA: About EFInA