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Stakeholders rue poor IT services at mobile money, banking agents’ locations


Victor Olojo

Stakeholders in the financial inclusion ecosystem have expressed worries over poor information technology services deployed by operators at mobile money and banking agents’ locations in the country.

Victor Olojo, National President, Association of Mobile Money Agents of Nigeria (AMMAN), told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that the summary of their experience is that one cannot rely totally on the technology of one mobile money operator or bank because there are issues from network failure to multiple payments and transactions not properly documented and captured.

“The idea of mobile money operators connecting to NIBSS for interoperability is not working very well. Presently, we are still having issues of interoperability within mobile money operators because not all the mobile money operators are connected to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). There are some wallets, if you log on to NIBSS you won’t be able to find them on NIBSS platform, more so, inter-wallet exchange has not been activated.

“For instance, I can’t transfer from Paga account to Pocketmoney account up till now. I think by the time full integration of all mobile money operators with NIBSS is attained we will start experiencing interoperability just as with banks,” he said.

He however, expressed his members’ frustration in the use of fund transfer Apps that are not reliable which has resulted to loss of funds.“We need standard organization of Nigeria (SON) to certify mobile Apps use for mobile money operations and money transfer among others. These Apps should be vetted before they are pushed into the market. This is very important, so that people don’t wake up and build apps that have not being tested into the market at the end of the day the agents are at the receiving end. Today, thousands and millions are being lost to these apps,” he added.

Tunde Ogungbade, Managing Director, Global Accelerex, explained that technological service offering at agent locations should be the responsibility of the service provider on whose network the agents sign on to.

“They should know that the only way their business works is when it works for the agents that sign on to their network. Major cause of network failure at agent banking side resides on network infrastructure and the service that is riding upon it. Most times, users are not able to know the difference.“Agents and operators need to define their technological service objective, more so, offline transactions at agent location must be stop.

“We are not sending WhatsApp message; we are doing a financial transaction. A transaction can never be in phantom. I can’t send somebody N10,000 and only N5,000 went through and the other N5,000 didn’t go through. A transaction should be atomic; it is either it happens or it did not. Service delivery and service level must improve for financial inclusion to succeed,” he added.

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