AMMAN picks holes in shared network initiative of banks
Association of Mobile Money Agents in Nigeria (AMMAN) has pick holes in the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) and money deposit banks’ recently launched Shared Agent Network initiative, saying that infrastructure on ground does not support massive rollout of agent network in the country.
Shared Agent Network initiative entails an aggressive rollout of a 500,000 agent network within two years to offer basic financial services. The approved CBN-Bankers committees’ roll out ratio will be as follows North-east 30 percent, North-west 30 percent, north-central 20 percent; south-south 7.5 percent, south-east 7.5 percent, and south-west 5 percent.
Victor Olojo, national president, Association of Mobile Money Agents of Nigeria (AMMAN), told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that recruiting 500,000 agents across the country within the next two years is not difficult and what is tall order to achieve is managing that number with poor infrastructure they are presently facing in the business of agency business.
“Presently, banks and licensed mobile money operators lack capacity to manager issues arising from network downtime. Web based solutions does not have the capacity to carry out transactions volume of up to 5,000 let alone when 500,000 are brought into the system.
“There must be concrete plans to improve upon available infrastructure to be able to support additional agents into the system. More so, there is knowledge gap in the management of agents by banks officers who does not understand business of informal sector. Over the years, we have noticed that some bank staff lack basic knowledge on digital financial service, “he said.Olojo urged CBN and banks to put in place Agent support system in dealing with agents who are people not regulated by any institution.
Ifeoma Onibuja, head, Digital banking, Fidelity Bank, had acknowledged that managing mobile money agents as well as logistic challenge have been a headache for the banks which has resulted in some banks scaling down their mobile money operation focusing on other digital payments.
Olojo however, commended the recent Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA) launch of global certification scheme. This according to him, will regulate chaotic situation they face in the business and go a long way to boost confidence in the system.
John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA , said the GSMA Mobile Money Certification is a consumer-focused initiative, aimed at giving customers confidence that a provider has taken steps to ensure their funds are in safe hands, their rights are protected and they can expect a high level of customer service.
“With over 690 million accounts globally, the mobile money industry is having a clear impact on the global effort to expand financial inclusion, providing access to life-enhancing financial services and serving as a gateway to the digital economy. Mobile money is directly advancing 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by facilitating access to essential services such as health and education, providing employment opportunities and reducing poverty,” he said.
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