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VENTURES AFRICA – Despite the efforts of financial institutions to promote Mobile Money services within the country, 37 percent of Nigerians, representing almost one-third of the population, are still unaware of the service, a survey carried out by Philips Consulting reveals.
The survey, which sampled 1987 Nigerians revealed only 63 percent of its citizens claim to be conversant with the platform, which provides a non-banking alternative for financial transactions.
With a population of over 160 million, Nigeria has an estimated 90 million phone users and 20 million recorded bank accounts – indicating a large portion of the population is excluded from basic banking. The country presents a desirable market for a rapid mobile money expansion. However, inadequate information and poor orientation has limited sustained adoption of the technology.
“The major reason given for this is insufficient information on mobile money services,” explained the survey.
“The result of this survey demonstrates that although most of the respondents know about mobile money, adoption of its services is low because many of them are not registered and thus do not use the service.”
Nigeria has experienced a sluggish growth in the mobile money market, compared to several African nations, most notably Kenya. The East African country revealed recently that 74 percent of its adult population currently utilize the platform, as subscriber base stands at 23.2 million people.
Services such as M-Pesa, launched by Safaricom – Kenya’s biggest mobile money operator – and M-Shwari, which targets low-income and unbanked people by offering savings and credit facilities, have proved hugely successful in providing alternatives to traditional banking services.