Firstmonie: Nigeria’s M-PESA mobile money

GMD of First Bank of Nigeria Mr.Bisi Onasanya during the unveiling of firstmonie in Lagos in 2012.

Firstmonie is not new in the mobile money services in Nigeria since it was unveiled in September 19, 2012, in Lagos.
During the inauguration of the mobile payment service, Group Managing Director of FirstBank of Nigeria Mr Bisi Onasanya had said, “with the inauguration of this service, the stage is now set for the banks customers and anyone in Nigeria with a mobile phone to enjoy financial services, using their mobile phones to send money, pay bills, top up their phone airtime, do shopping, deposit and withdraw cash, without the need to visit a bank branch.”
While M‐PESA was developed by mobile phone operator Vodafone and launched commercially by its Kenyan affiliate Safaricom in March 2007, the idea of firstmonie was conceptualized and unveiled in 2012 by FirstBank of Nigeria. 
To access m-pesa service, customers must first register at an authorized M‐PESA retail outlet, where they are assigned an individual electronic money account that is linked to their phone number.
This is also the system used by firstmonie, whereby they can use their phones to transfer funds to other firstmonie users and even to non‐registered users, pay bills, and purchase mobile airtime credit. 
Presently, most of the firstmonie ambassadors known as agents are Lagos-based. These agents could be found in Yaba, Surulere, Apapa, Agege, Lagos Central, Ikorodu, FESTAC, Ikeja 2, Ikeja 1, and still growing.
Three years after M-PESA was launched, “It has already been adopted by 9 million customers (corresponding to 40% of Kenyas adult population) and processes more transactions domestically than Western Union does globally,” according to Ignacio Mas and Dan Radcliffe (March, 2010) in their researched paper titled Mobile Payments go Viral: M‐PESA in Kenya published by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Firstmonie has the capability to achieve the feat of M-PESA which has over 40,000 agents if First Bank continues to sensitize Nigerians about the advantages of cash-less policy.
So, for an intending users and agents of the Nigerias version of M-PESA, these are what you need to know about firstmonie.
Who owns Firstmonie?
Firstmonie is brainchild of First Bank of Nigeria.
What is Firstmonie?
Firstmonie is a mobile money service that enables phone users to send and receive money, pay bills, buy airtime and carry out some other banking activities right on their Mobile phones without a bank account.
How does firstmonie works using phone number?
The mobile money service has been designed by FBN in such a way that the mobile phone number of the user serves as the account number.
Who is eligible for Firstmonie?
All phone users aged 18 years and above.
Is Firstmonie accessible on all Phone types?
Yes. It is accessible on low-end phones, feature phones, smartphones, SIM based tablets etc.
What are the services on Firstmonie?
A. Registration for Firstmonie
B. Fund Wallet / Cash Deposit: I. At Agents location, II. At ATM, III. From Bank Account IV. From Card(s) Account
C. Send Money: I. To any Mobile Phone in Nigeria III. To any FirstBank Account III. To Other Bank Account
D. Cash Token
E. Cash Token Generation/Redemption & Cash withdrawal : I. At Agent II. At ATM III. At FBN Branch
F. Pay Bills like I. Utilities (PHCN) II. Cable TV (DSTV, Star-times) III. State payments IV. Donations V. Investment & Insurance VI. Airline and Embassy etc VII. Airtime purchase on (Airtel , MTN, GLO and Etisalat) VIII. Shopping/Purchase at Merchant location.
G. Others: I. Mini Statement II. Check Balance III. Add/Delete Beneficiary IV. Change PIN
Who is a Firstmonie Agent?
A Firstmonie Agent is a registered and approved person, retail business or outlet that offers Firstmonie services on behalf of First Bank.
Any person, corporate or institution appointed by FirstBank to provide Firstmonie Mobile Money services on its behalf e.g. Individuals, Registered companies/enterprises, Microfinance banks and Institutions Corporates e.g. filling stations e.t.c.
Roles of a firstmonie agent?
Just like M-PESA agents who register M-PESA Customers, deposit cash into registered customers M-PESA accounts, and processing cash withdrawals for non-registered M-PESA customers among others, the tasks of firstmonie agent include: 
He/she is to register customers.
Render mobile money services such as Cash-in, Cash-out, funds transfer, Bill payment and airtime recharge for customers.
Educate customers and act as the face of the firsmonie service.
Requirements of becoming Firstmonie Agent?
Interested candidates must ensure they possess the following qualities and requirements:
  1. Must be able to read and write.
  2. He/she must have a functional mobile phone.
  3. An existing physical shop/business outlet.
  4. A completed Agent application form, agreement and account package.
  5. A copy of ID or equivalent (Drivers license, National Id card, Intl passport).
  6. Two Passport-sized photographs.
  7. Proof of Address (Utility bills e.g. PHCN).
  8. Financial/Bank account statements.
Items 1-8 above are required to be a Classic Firstmonie Agent. However, business registration documents are required to be Gold or Platinum Firstmonie Agent.
Benefits of being a Firstmonie Agent?
As a duly appointed Firstmonie Agent, you are automatically a Firstbank/Firstmonie ambassador and these are your benefits:
  1. Additional income from Firstmonie services  Agents will receive significant commissions from Firstmonie for facilitating all Firstmonie services.
  2. Increased sales due to increased number of customers in your outlet.
  3. Good brand association -Firstbank/Firstmonie brand.
  4. Guaranteed volume of transactions due to Firstbank/Firstmonie large network.
  5. Social relevance to the community you service.
  6. Regular training, branding and marketing support from Firstmonie.
  7. Reduction in Operational Cost.
  8. Elimination of risk of theft from cash handling.
  9. Greater Operational Efficiency.
  10. Cash in hand can be used to generate additional income through funding of Firstmonie wallets for customers.
  11. Greater transparency from online real time reporting.
  12. Greater customer satisfaction from alternative payment options.
  13. Cost of registering on Firstmonie?
  14. Subscription/registration is free.
How much does it cost to dial *894#?
MTN charges airtime up to N2 per 20 seconds and up to a maximum of 2 minutes at N12; Etisalat charges airtime up to N2.50 per 20 seconds and up to a maximum of 2 minutes at N15; for Glo and Airtel, there are no charges.
Additional information on how to be firstmonie agent
9/11 MaCarthy Street, Off King George Street, Onikan, Lagos.

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