Nigeria: FirstBank rolls out mobile money service
Determined to guarantee that the vast majority of the unbanked and underbanked Nigerians get access to best-in-class financial services, First Bank of Nigeria Plc on Wednesday introduced its mobile money service, a move many industry watchers believe would become a major push for local money transfer services.
With the launch of this service, the stage is now set for the bank’s customers and anyone in Nigeria with a mobile phone to enjoy financial services, send money to business associates, friends and family, pay bills, top up their phone airtime, do shopping, deposit and withdraw cash, without the need to visit a bank branch.
The launch of the service dubbed, ‘FirstMonie’, was witnessed by the bank’s telecoms partners including Globacom, Airtel, Etisalat and MTN as well as key stakeholders and executives of the bank.
The operating platform for the ‘FirstMonie’ service is powered by Fundamo, a Visa company. In 2002, Fundamo launched the world’s first mobile financial service in emerging markets with Celpay in Zambia. Speaking at the launch in Lagos on Wednesday, Bisi Onasanya, managing director and chief executive officer, FirstBank Plc, said: “FirstMonie services have been created with three principles in mind. The first is defined by how consumers receive money to fund their unique lifestyles; how consumers spend money for their unique lifestyle needs; and thirdly, the ability of the consumer to be informed and in control of their money.
“With almost 700 branches and business correspondent outlets strategically located across the country, about 1,900 ATMs – cash deposit, cardless and biometric, over six million active accounts and over 18,000 point of sale terminals, FirstBank offers the best and the most effective mobile money platform in Nigeria.
We are already recruiting agents across the country to meet the needs of our consumers,” he added. Beyond mobile money services, FirstBank has in place a world-class IT and electronic payment infrastructure to deliver unparalleled financial transaction experience to its discerning customers.
These include Automated Teller Machines (ATMs); Point of Sale (POS) terminals; First Online – the bank’s internet banking; and a bespoke card portfolio comprising of debit, credit and prepaid card variants issued on the brands of Visa, MasterCard and Verve among other electronic payment solutions.
By Ben Uzor Jr & Hope Akporowhe, Business Day Online