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CBN urges MMOs rural expansion

25 October 2013, 13:31

Abuja - The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi, has urged Mobile Money operators to make such technology available in the country’s rural areas in order to enhance financial inclusion.

“The application of mobile technology for financial services, especially in rural areas, will ensure that a large percentage of the population outside the formal banking system would have access to financial services,” Sanusi said during the International Conference on Payments System.

The event was held in Abuja.

Sanusi’s call follows the central bank pledging its commitment to extend financial services to the rural areas through a network of agents and mobile banking system, so as to make an impact in the lives of people living in the remote parts of the country.

More than 80 million, which is half of the population of Africa’s most populous nation, Nigerians reside in the underserviced rural areas.

CBN has licensed 18 Mobile Money operators.

Monthly transactions worth an average of over N1 billion currently being done through the mobile platform.

Meanwhile, Sanusi identified power, communication network, slow adoption of e-payments due to prevailing cash culture, merchant’s apathy to point-of-sale (POS) terminals due to transaction fees, high illiteracy level and cost of electronic banking services as some of the challenges facing the adoption e-payment system.

Other challenges include low level of public awareness on the existence of some e-payment products, concentration of e-payment facilities in the urban centre and unavailability of financial services in most rural areas, lack of effective national identification system and absence of e-payment laws or National Payments System Act.

– CAJ News


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