Thursday, 4 April 2013

‘Nigeria Can Surpass Kenya’s Success in Mobile Money’

By Emma Okonji

Given the huge success recorded in the rapid adoption of mobile money transfer services in Kenya, since the launch of M-pesa in 2007 by Safaricom, Nigerian expert in eBanking solutions has said the country could surpass Kenya’s success, if given the right policy and support.
Chief Executive Officer of Inlaks Computers, Mr. Femi Adeoti, who spoke with THISDAY on the company’s latest eBanking solutions at the recently concluded AITEC’s Banking and Mobile Money West African conference in Lagos, said with a population of over 114 million telecoms subscribers in Nigeria, the country could surpass the success of M-pesa in Kenya, if the right policy that will drive the right solutions is put in place, and if network infrastructure operators and the licensed mobile money operators are given the right support.

“The success recorded in Kenya could also be surpassed in Nigeria with favourable government policy and reliable network infrastructure operators. Mobile banking and mobile money are breaking down boundaries and with Temenos banking and cloud solutions, we can attain success in our cashless initiative that is designed to boost financial inclusion,” Adeoti said.
He emphasised that mobile money remained a huge and untapped opportunity in the country, but that its success would hinge on the wide acceptability of mobile device.
Kenya launched M-pesa in 2007 to drive mobile money transactions and since then, huge success has been recorded, as virtually all financial transactions in low and high places are largely dependent on mobile. Market women, artisans and students, including corporate organisations and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), have fully embraced mobile money transactions in Kenya. Nigeria had in 2011, introduced the cashless initiative, beginning with Lagos and in 2013, extended it to few other cities, even though its take off and adoption rate have been slow.
Commending the initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in driving cashless economy in the country, Adeoti insisted that CBN’s policies should be focused on the right solutions that would bring huge success in the country’s mobile money initiative.
Making reference to Ghana’s regulatory policies, Adeoti said, “Ghana’s enabling regulatory environment did not happen overnight. It took months and years of creative dialogue, negotiation and lobbying. This was accelerated by the enlightened leadership in the apex bank with defined policy framework ignoring the threat of uncertainties and embracing wider societal considerations like financial inclusion.”
Inlaks Computers Limited, according to Adeoti, “is an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Infrastructure solutions provider in the West African region, with robust eBanking solution that would drive mobile money initiative in Nigeria.”
Reiterating the company’s readiness to partner other stakeholders in the financial sector to boost cashless economy, Adeoti said “Inlaks is the business representative of Temenos in the West African region that is driving its eBanking solutions, and the recent AITEC’s Banking and Mobile Money West African conference is part of several measures put in place in displaying our eBanking solutions.”
With the theme, “the Challenges and Opportunities of Mobile Money” the event focused on banks challenges in overcoming their heritage of colonial banking. Latest international developments in payment technologies, best practices in Information Technology (IT) project deployment, and latest trends in customer service delivery, were discussed at the event and their solutions displayed.
Speakers at the conference also noted that regulation and innovations have to find an optimum coexistence in order to encourage financial inclusion, positive/creative regulation rather than restrictive regulation. The conference admitted that communication is the key to avoid the increase of misinformation and misconceptions in the financial market.
Director, Sales and Strategy, Infrastructure Business Division at Inlaks, Mr. Tope Dare, who spoke at the conference on the new technological innovations for the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) channel around the world, reviewed the history of ATM deployment in Nigeria and how more services were being accessed through ATMs.

 The occasion also presented opportunities for bankers to share their insights into optimising customer service, operations and delivery of banking services.
Source: ThisDay Live

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