Nigeria’s biggest telecoms firm MTN has launched a mobile money transfer service, MoMo operations in Nigeria, its biggest market and Africa’s most populous nation targeting those without bank accounts.
The success in east Africa of M-Pesa, the mobile money unit of Kenya’s Safaricom, has convinced investors and the industry that financial services are the next growth area for the telecoms sector, where prices for basic services are falling.
Some key pointers of the operation on take off shall be:
- Customers send a text for free and get a response giving them a list of registered agents near them.
- Customers pay transfer sum to agents who in turn give them a code to be transmitted to the receiver. The receiver goes to an agent near them and collects the cash.
- The sender will pay 100 naira though. N50 will go to the sending agent and the paying agent will also get N50.
- The minimum amount that can be transferred is N100 and the maximum is either N50,000 or N100,000 depending on the agent.
- The recipient must claim the money within 30 days or the voucher will expire.
A key issue raised by a former top civil servant has been the 100 naira charge on transaction which he says is about double the 52 naira charged on mobile banking transactions.
Looking at MoMo operation in Ghana, you can use MTN Mobile Money to send and receive money, top-up MTN airtime, pay bills (DStv, ECG Postpaid, MTN Postpaid, School fees and more), buy & pay for insurance, pay employee salaries, pay for airline tickets and other goods and services.