According to Nigeria’s Business Day, another mobile money solution has been launched, directly competing with Paga, the startup i wrote about earlier. Dubbed U-Mo, this initiative is a joint venture between United Bank for Africa and AfriPay and targets Nigeria’s 90 million mobile phone subscribers. The Central Bank of Nigeria recent push for a Cashless Nigeria has led it to start giving out mobile money licenses, of which UBA is a receptor.
U-Mo works across carriers and allows users to send and receive money and pay for goods and services using their mobile phones. Security is similar to Paga, which daily transaction limits placed on users based on their level of authentication with the service. 30% of Nigeria’s population is banked, creating a gap of about 55-65 millions unbanked Nigerians with mobile phones providing a good market for mobile money services. UBA introduced a minimum N25,000 ($155) account balance in its banking system and will transfer customers who fall under that threshold to the mobile platform, without a doubt in order to create a customer base.
UBA also received a $1 million grant from Elfina to develop a savings platform savings platform on the U-MO service with the value proposition for customers been an interest on their deposits. A definitely worthy initiative if implemented correctly. It is good to see another entry in the mobile money market in Nigeria, and I am specially encouraged by the Cashless Nigeria initiative which should be duplicated in other African countries to complement the growth of mobile technology in Africa. The numbers are there, which means that the market is there.