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Visa study reveals 35% of Nigerians are aware of mobile money


Visa, the global payments technology company, has said that about 35 percent of Nigerians are aware of Mobile Money.

The research conducted by Visa Inc. and Fundamo, the Visa-owned mobile money platform also revealed opportunity to grow customer awareness of mobile mobile in the country as it has the potential to be the leading mobile money market in the world.

There are nearly 110 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria but only a 56 million people have bank accounts making it one of the most exciting mobile money markets in the world, according to the Visa Money Study for Nigeria.

Despite the staggering market potential, the Visa study reveals that only 35 percent of respondents are aware of mobile money versus an average of 56 percent across all six of the emerging markets surveyed.

The Visa Mobile Money study analysed the financial services needs and expectations of mobile money among nearly 2,500 consumers, mobile money agents, and merchants in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The global study highlighted that consumers’ needs for financial services are far more sophisticated than previously believed and go well beyond the established transaction set offered by mobile money services today.

Aletha Ling, chief operation officer at Fundamo, said: “Nigeria has a vast unbanked population with high mobile phone penetration and a progressive regulator that is focused on creating a cashless economy. It has the potential to be the leading mobile money market in the world. The industry needs to work together to increase the awareness of mobile financial services in order to drive consumer adoption,” adding that “The Visa study has uncovered key market drivers and inhibitors as well as the best practices that will help mobile money providers ensure that the Nigerian market delivers on its promise.”

The study suggests that the success of mobile financial services is determined by how deeply a mobile money provider understands its customers and tailors the service to the needs of consumers and mobile money agents – from service menus, to marketing and education.

According to the Visa study, 83 percent of respondents in Nigeria cited “safety of not having to carry around a lot of cash” as the primary benefit of mobile money and the ability to quickly send money to family members (86 percent) is the principle intended use. “Whether the family you send money to will know how to get or receive the money” is the number one barrier to adoption in Nigeria (56 percent).

To raise awareness and drive adoption, providers need to educate consumers on the key benefits and uses of mobile money services whilst tackling barriers to uptake.