eTranzact International PLC has announce the investment of $350,000 into a mobile money activation project in collaboration with EFInA, a financial sector development organisation. The project which will be piloted in Northern and South Western Nigeria is called “The PocketMoni 500” project.
The project which is in line with the Central Bank’s cashless policy has kicked off in Kano and Ogun States in Northern and South Western Nigeria respectively, and is aimed at driving the adoption of mobile money in those areas by educating and signing up local merchants and consumers.
eTranzact International PLC, which facilitates mobile banking services of 11 banks through its mobile switching platform, processes over 1 trillion Naira every year and has more than 11 years’ experience processing financial transactions in Africa, got a Central Bank Mobile Money license for PocketMoni, its mobile money wallet in 2012.
EFInA (Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access) has provided a Technical Assistance Grant of $250,000 towards building a viable mobile payment ecosystem focused on the low-income population in Kano and Ogun State by incentivising and supporting eligible small businesses to serve as mobile payment merchants and agents. EFInA is funded by the UK Government’s Department of International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and has been championing financial inclusion in Nigeria since it was established in late 2007. As part of the terms of the grant, eTranzact will also put in $100,000 and will drive the execution of the project.
With low internet penetration a major challenge to the adoption of mobile money in Nigeria, the key value proposition of eTranzact’s PocketMoni is ubiquity, being able to send, receive money and make payments using USSD, SMS, GPRS/lnternet and the web.
Speaking about the project, Mr Valentine Obi, CEO of eTranzact said: “We are very happy to be announcing this project at this time. Since we began our mobile money service in Nigeria, it has been clear that significant effort had to be made by stake holders at all levels to educate and incentivise merchants and users, and in collaboration with our partners, we will continue to push until the cashless policy goal is achieved.
This collaboration with EFInA is the first of a series of strategic partnerships we have planned, we will be launching other similar projects in other parts of Nigeria and our team of mobile money evangelists will be spreading the gospel of mobile money from state to state”
As part of efforts on the project, members of the PocketMoni team have been making appearances on select radio stations in Kano and Ogun state, educating people and providing incentives to encourage the adoption and usage of mobile money products. The key message is for Nigerians to see mobile money as more than just an add-on service, but as an important component of the payments landscape in Nigeria.
The first phase of the PocketMoni 500 project will run for 6 months and reinforces eTranzact’s commitment to driving the growth of payments in Nigeria by investing in financial, educational and other resources necessary to reach the banked and unbanked.