The value of mobile money transactions through licensed mobile payment operators (inter-plans) has fallen by 23% year-on-year in the first half of 2018 (H1’18). The volume of transactions, however, increased by 53% over the same period.
Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) disclosed this in its electronic payment (e-payment) factsheet for H1’18.
According to the NIBSS fact sheet, the value of mobile money transactions (inter-schemes) fell by 23 per cent, from N555.83 billion in the first half of 2017 to N429.79 billion in the first half of 2018.
In addition, the volume of transactions increased from 24.17 million in the first half of 2017 to 35.94 million, representing an increase of 53%.
The NIBSS also revealed that the number of mobile payment operators decreased by 53% to 1.50 million in the first half of 2018, from 2.3 million in the first half of 2017.
However, the number of registered Mobile Money agents increased by 138% to 13,113 during the first half of 2018, compared with 5,517 agents registered in the first half of 2017. Commenting on the development, President, Association of Mobile Money Agents in Nigeria (AMMAN), Victor Olojo, said: “The reason for the decline in value of mobile money transaction is lack of good incentives from operators. To this end, many agents make use of their personal bank accounts and mobile apps (because it is cheaper and yields more profit) for mobile money transactions thereby making it difficult for the actual volume of transactions to be tracked.
“Secondly is the influx of multiple players into the sector, the bulk of which are not directly licensed operators. These players may be unwilling to report their transaction log as mobile payment/money transactions, thereby causing a reason for a decline. ”
To salvage the situation more sanitization of the sector is needed to curb the activities of unlicensed operators. More incentives should also come from operators to make the business encouraging for players”.
Olojo, however, expressed optimism of increased value and volume of mobile money transactions in H2’18.
“In my opinion, things will certainly get better and the transaction value and volume will also pick up as well. Don’t forget the general economic outlook hasn’t been so good for the lower class which has drastically also affected their purchasing power. The usual trend is that spending activities usually picks up toward the end of the year”.
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