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CBN Reviews Mobile Money, Payment Services

Sunday, 6 November 2016


There are indications that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is currently reviewing the legal framework for effectiveness of mobile money in Nigeria.

Making the disclosure at the 2016 Conference of the Brand Journalists’ Association of Nigeria (BJAN) on Friday in Lagos, themed: Mobile Money In Nigeria: Challenges, Opportunities, Threats, Mr. Jimoh Itopa, Deputy Director, Mobile Banking and Payment System Department, Central Bank of Nigeria said that the review became necessary following some negative fallouts form the system in the country.

Jimoh added that the CBN is aware of all the impediments to the success of the programme and it is ready that all these are removed for the success of the programme.

“Mobile money is currently being reviewed and the CBN is working ahead to see that anything that will work against its success is removed,” he said.

He added that the CBN is also meeting with telecommunications companies (Telco) especially the big four in Nigeria to see how they can be properly incorporated into the mobile money system.

This becomes imperative as experts have said severally that there should be stakeholders’ collaboration in order to ensure affordability, quality and availability of their information such as USSD, integration of data and others that will drive effective mobile money in the country.

Interestingly, experts are of the opinion that what the country currently has in place is mobile banking instead of mobile money, which has not really served the customers appropriately.

It will be recalled that the CBN introduced mobile money and mobile payment services in Nigeria with the intention of driving financial inclusion and facilitate the growth of commercial activities in the country.
Thus, the use of the mobile phone for the initiation, authorization and confirmation of the transfer of value out of a current, savings or stored value account has been recognized as a development that is capable of expanding the growth of commerce among both the financially included and non included units in the economy.

This informed the formation of regulatory framework by the CBN to address business rules governing the operation of mobile payment services, and specifies basic functionalities expected of any mobile payment service and solution in Nigeria. The framework identifies the participants and defines their expected roles and responsibilities in providing mobile payment services in the system. In addition, it sets the basis for the regulation of services offered at different levels and by the participants.

The overriding vision of achieving a nationally utilized and internationally recognized payments system necessitates strategies to bring informal payment transactions into the formal system.

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