Mobile Banking Grows as Phone Users Hit 29 Million

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Raheem Akingbolu

The Managing Director of Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Mr. Adesonubi Adebisi, has stated that Nigeria has recorded growth in mobile banking, compared to some African countries. He spoke at the Fintech Summit 2017, where he analysed the data of the Fintech industry in the past few years and admitted that mobile users in Nigeria are now about 29 million.

He said: ‘’Internet banking is slowing down; mobile banking is growing and USSD is also growing while ATM usage remains stagnant in the past three years. Now, consumers engage more with the mobile world because it is fast and convenient, card transaction/POS is also growing while cheque transaction remains stagnant.’’

He noted that the larger value transactions are reducing while the smaller value transactions are increasing every time because customers are able to engage themselves with mobile banking which increases in bank transactions. The NIBSS boss added that the numbers of bank customers are not increasing but numbers of bank accounts are increasing.

According to him, in the capital market, the number of registered shareholders is approximately 2.1 million while 838,674 could only be identified and 433,164 are the unique individual in the capital market. This, according to him, is a result of the integration of the BVN to customers’ account in order to monitor real time payments.

Earlier, the Chief Executive of Kantar TNS, Mr. Aggrey Maposa stated that despite the late commencement of the nation’s financial technology sub sector of the economy, it has, in the last three to four years, grown by over 90percent. Maposa also disclosed that there are over 400 Fintech organisations in Nigeria currently working with Africa Fintech organisation.

According to him, the global consumer and marketing Strategy Company organised the summit in response to the evolution and growth of the global internet of things, (IoT), to discuss the future of financial Technology in the country.

The summit tagged: “Payment of Tomorrow and Changing Consumer”, brought together Financial Technology experts and leading business executive to discuss the Fintech Industry in Nigeria with a view to positioning the industry, players and the consumers for tomorrow.

Maposa explained that the world has changed and Fintech is taking over and changing the financial activities of the consumers.

He said: “Fintech has come to stay, it is not a fashion because it is based on real need for change” he noted that the Nigeria Fintech industry is coming a bit late, but the industry in Nigeria is still doing so well and in just about three to four years of introduction, “we have recorded a growth of 90% and this is to show we are coming up”, he said.

Over the years, FINTECH (E-nnovation) engagement spanned across many sectors, which include the E commerce, Property Rentals, Customer Loyalty and awareness programme. However, Nigeria is still predominantly using cash over cashless transactions with 80percent of transactions record being in cash and 20% cashless, compared to other countries.
Also speaking on the theme, Chief Strategy and transformation officer at Kantar, Mr. Jonathan Chocquel Mangan said that realising opportunities for growth requires unique consumer focus and insight.

“We must understand the consumer’s need at each point in time so as to meet those needs. In order to get your customer to drop their suppliers and choose you, you need to get insight on what they need’’ he said, emphasising that the where, what and how to get insight to consumer experience is very important.

He noted that bank transactions in the country are predominantly offline compared to Ghana and Kenya but more generally, Nigeria consumers are very mobile centric. In Nigeria, cash is still the king but ATM, Mobile Banking are closing the gap very quickly.

Focusing his presentation on “Mobile Opportunities in Nigeria”, the CEO Kantar Africa, Mr. Charles Foster explained that mobile research is no longer the future in Africa rather it is here now. According to him, half of the mobile are already Smartphones in Nigeria not far from US.

He maintained that mobile research can do more than face to face research in collecting data. He also predicted that by year 2020, 730 million growth in mobile subscribers would be achieved and this is possible by knowing what consumer needs.

Responding to questions on whether Fintech is sustainable, Project Director, Africa Fintech Founding, Mr. Victor Okigbo said that Fintech is not a fade, it has come to stay and there can only be more innovations to it.
The interactive session established that the rate of Fintech growth in Nigeria compared to Kenya and South Africa is still behind. This was however attributed to security lapses.

On the challenge of digital payment, Maposa admitted that cyber security remains a problem globally. He added: “There are lot of security measures Fintech has in place beyond what the consumer knows, the only way is to educate the people that they are secured, he explained adding that Fintech and financial institution need to have strong back-end so as to monitor any suspicious financial activities.”

He explained that Fintech doesn’t take away jobs, rather it redefines financial operations. “Jobs are changing faster, so people need to change and it is necessary to acquire more skills to be relevant,’’ he said.