Wednesday, November 9, 2016 12:52 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
In furtherance of the financial inclusion vision of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) in partnership with several banks and four GSM operators, has unveiled a new payment platform, mCash, to enhance retail payments.
The Partners announced this recently in Lagos at a media briefing session attended by the NIBSS management and representatives of the various partner organisations.
Speaking at the session, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIBSS, Ade Shonubi revealed that the product became necessary in view of the dream to make a reality the financial inclusion vision 2020 which seeks to achieve 80% uptake among Nigerians.
“mCash is an innovative solution designed to facilitate low-value retail payments, providing accessible electronic channels to a wider range of users and to further grow financial inclusion in Nigeria, by extending electronic payment services to Payers and Merchants at the bottom of the pyramid.”
The NIBSS boss commended the partners for opting to serve the country’s overall best interest through a hybrid model rather than the current bank-led.
Speaking also about the innovative product, the Director, Digital Business, Etisalat Nigeria, Adia Sowho, commended NIBSS and the partners for the product which she described as a ‘new thinking in the right direction’ that will benefit all stakeholders and further propel the drive for financial inclusion.
“The mCash payment solution is a commendable innovative solution that has further driven inclusion in the financial world and widened payment options to guarantee seamless ease of payment. Etisalat has been at the vanguard of this with such innovative products as EasyWallet and GTEasySavers, which is a product of the union with leading commercial bank, Guarantee Trust Bank Plc. We are glad at the opportunity to reach more people with more payment options,” she said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also expressed optimism in the ability of the product to drive financial inclusion to the targeted 80% by 2020. Joe Obogo, CBN’s Principal Manager, Payment System Policy and Oversight Office,who represented the Director, Banking and Payments System, added that the apex bank would ‘not relent in its efforts to achieve full financial inclusion, but rather keep looking out for more innovative ways to do things better’
The mCash payment option is geared towards stimulating the achievement of the Federal Government’s financial inclusion goal by widening the scope for the inclusion of the hitherto unbanked population both in the rural and urban areas.
mCash leverages the mobile phone USSD technology which in recent times has become the most accessible channel for processing financial and non-financial transactions. A general USSD short code is made available for Banks who do not already have their own short codes. However, Banks with existing USSD short codes will be able to access this service using their own short codes.