Fundamo tips Nigeria mobile financial services market for phenomenal growth
Fundamo, a Visa Inc. company and the world’s largest specialist mobile financial service provider, has reported accelerated growth of mobile financial services in Africa in 2012, just as it tips the Nigerian mobile financial services market for phenomenal growth. Mobile money providers are rapidly diversifying and consumers are demanding access to more sophisticated services,” said Hannes van Rensburg, CEO, Fundamo, a Visa company.
“One thing hasn’t changed – Africa, the cradle of mobile financial services, continues to lead the world with a swath of new deployments in 2012.”
A recent survey by Fundamo and Visa, the Visa Mobile Money Study, supports this fact, as it shows that consumers in this clime have sophisticated financial service needs that go well beyond the established transaction set offered by mobile money services today.
For example, the majority of consumers surveyed in Nigeria intend to use mobile money to save money for their family (59 percent) and pay utility bills (58 percent). To meet this demand FirstMonie offers consumers a host of advanced services including utility payments (airline tickets, electric, insurance), cash withdrawal from an ATM without a bank card, and payment for goods at merchant locations.
The study goes ahead to state that Nigerian mobile financial services market is set for phenomenal growth. Only 38 per cent of the country’s 160 million people have access to formal financial services (Gallup and NOI-Polls, 2010). Meanwhile, there are more than 93 million mobile phone subscriptions in Nigeria, the most in Africa (GSMA, 2011). In September 2012, First Bank Nigeria launched FirstMonie in partnership with Fundamo. It is one of three deployments Fundamo powers in the market.
FirstMonie is a pioneering mobile financial service for two reasons: FirstMonie is available to all mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria, regardless of their mobile network. It is one of the first interoperable cross-network mobile financial services in the world. It allows a consumer on one mobile network to send and receive money from a consumer on a different mobile network. The number one intended use of mobile money by consumers surveyed in Nigeria is sending money to a family member (86 percent).
Increased service provider diversification
Ten years ago mobile operators took the lead in offering mobile financial services to unbanked consumers in Africa. Today, mass consumer interest is driving demand from a range of new mobile money providers including banks and microfinance institutions. Nearly a third of the services Fundamo supports in Africa are delivered by providers other than mobile operators which has seen it support 27 deployments in 19 countries across Africa.
Earlier this year, Celpay International, a specialized mobile financial service provider, launched services in Uganda and Zimbabwe, powered by Fundamo. Celpay International provides mobile financial services to consumers and corporate customers. In Uganda, Celpay has partnered with mobile network operator Uganda Telecom, and in Zimbabwe it is working in partnership with several banks