As part of its efforts to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria and maintain its commitment to actualise 80% of the target by 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria has authorized commercial banks to commence full operation of mobile money wallets.
This directive is contained in a circular issued by the apex bank and signed by the Directors of Payments System Management Department and Banking Supervision Department, Sam Okojere and Ahmad Abdullahi.
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Aim of the mobile money wallet: The circular from the Central Bank of Nigeria further disclosed that the aim of the initiative is basically to complement growth in agent banking services under the Super Agent and the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) initiative. The initiative is also being implemented in recognition of the increasing demand for no-frills mobile money services.
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Note that mobile Money Services are basically electronic wallet service which allows users to store, send, and receive money through the use of their mobile phones. It came into existence in 2012 as part of efforts to complement or make effective the entire spectrum of cashless policy of the CBN.
The service is convenient to use and has the ability to execute transactions quickly and easily. Some major operators in Nigeria include- EazyMoney by Zenith Bank, GTBank Mobile money, Paga, eTransact, FirstMonie, MTN Mobile money, AirtelMoney, PayPal, amongst others.
SANEF is a financial initiative powered by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Deposit Money Banks, Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement Systems, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Shared Agents and licensed Mobile Money Operators with the primary aim of expediting financial inclusion in Nigeria by 2020.