Daily, technology keeps changing the method and way in which things are done across the sectors of the world. Technology is performing in such a way that what we would have considered the norm two or three years ago is being challenged.
To be precise, when it comes to business, technology has made it possible for us to spend, receive and even save money with our mobile phones and devices.
In Nigeria, the mobile money concept has resonated with many banks leading them to offer support to small agents and operators who are bringing some pieces of traditional banking into the mix by moving to the doorsteps of banking and non-banking Nigerians.
On literally every street in Nigeria, it’s not hard to find small shops and kiosks offering financial services to people such as helping them to pay for their NEPA bills, withdraw cash, transfer and so on.
I believe that the COVID-19 pandemic also helped in advancing the activities of these mobile money agents because banks and so on, started partnering with agents across the country who run facilities where people can go to and perform the majority of their financial transactions for a small fee.
Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria
Opay was launched by Opera, a fintech company and ever since then, it has majored on making sure that a variety of financial services including bill payments, sending and receiving funds and so on, has been available to the public.
Opay has over 200,000 agents and more than 2 million users all around the country. As a matter of fact, it has become one of the most popular fintech apps in Nigeria.
MoMo is owned by MTN, one of Nigeria’s largest telecom operators. It is also a mobile money app that provides financial services.
MoMo has over 100,000 agents in various local governments in the country and it has also made it possible for transactions to occur without having to go to the bank.
In Usoro Usoro words, the Chief Executive Officer of YDFS- MTN subsidiary that launched “MoMo Agents,” the goal of MoMo is to reach every underbanked and banked Nigerian.
FirstMonie is owned by one of the major banks in Nigeria which is First bank. They have made it possible for transactions to be made every single day, again without having to visit the bank.
FirstMonie has over 70,000 agents and they’ve even gone as far as small towns without access to the banks. The major goal of FirstMonie is to create harmony between high-tech services and the not so literate people of the society because the truth is that they matter too.
Paga is a free mobile app that allows its users to make financial decisions and transactions. It has over 20,000 agents across the country that makes it easy for everyone to just walk in and carry out their transactions.
Moniepoint is owned by TeamApt and it’s highly reliable and profitable. It has over 40,000 agents in different states of Nigeria. Just like the other mobile operators, users can withdraw money, transfer cash, pay their bills and so on.
Why is this important?
The arrival of mobile money operators in Nigeria has made everyday financial services very simple to get. A lot of transactions that were once restricted to banks are now available in various shops and kiosks around.
I strongly believe that a lot of Nigerians need to be made aware of this. The stress and chaotic situation just to be attended to in the majority of the banks in Nigeria is surreal, to say the least. Recently, there was some news that someone collapsed and died because of the stress just to conduct your financial transactions in the bank.
Not to talk of the fact that they take up your hours at the bank. There have been so many times I’ll see people walk out of the bank angrily because they’ve spent a lot of their time and still haven’t been attended to. While patience is key, it’s important that banks step up their game and prioritize all its customers.
In the meantime, I urge Nigerians to make use of these financial services that have been made available via mobile operators.