PayTech

NIBSS, Banks re-launch mCash to Drive Financial Inclusion

The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) and its partner banks have re-launched mCashto replace physical cash in payment. mCash is a mobile payment system for making low-value retail payments designed to extend e-payment options to low-income buyers and sellers who deal in cash. The cashless initiative was first launched in 2016.

Speaking during the event held in Lagos, Managing Director/CEO NIBSS, Ade Shonubi said cash-less banking promotes financial inclusion.

“We talk about cashless, we talk about financial inclusion. Really, all those conversations are about how to get people to put cash in their pocket and find other ways of doing financial transactions. It involves two kinds of people – the buyer and the seller, and both have to be comfortable for it to work.So far, as banks, we have done a good job, but not a great job. When you have so many people that do banking services and when you have so many transactions that are done over various platforms that we have invested a lot of money on, majority are still being done as cash,” he said.

He said the idea behind the Mcash was to make it easier and replace the use of physical cash. “And for that to happen, we needed to sit down with a number of parties because every individual element in the chain has a part to play.But we needed to get across to the customers who are the consumers and that required the channels that only the network providers could put down. And collectively, the network providers, the banks and the various companies came together and the idea of Mcash came in,” he said.

Continuing, he said: “Many times you hear people talk about unique solutions in the world, but over the last two years we have been creating our own unique blend of what is possible in the world.For Mcash, we would not charge any fee for the USSD. The banks said they would give access to their customers and because it is targeted at the lower value of transactions, we had to do away with some fees that we normally charge people”.

Managing Director/CEO Diamond Bank, UzomaDozie, who was represented by the Deputy Managing Director Diamond Bank, Mrs Caroline Anyanwu said the mCash leverages on mobile USSD technology. “So, it is really not like the mobile app where you need to have a smart phone, any phone can do it just as well.The most important thing a lot of businesses are looking at is the immediate receipt of payment.Prior to the Mcash, users of payment solutions face a number of charges. There is technology phobia, where people say they can’t use technology”.

Speaking at the re-launch of the platform in Lagos, MTN Nigeria CEO, FerdiMoolman, represented by the General Manager, Mobile Financial Services, MTN, Mr Usoro Usoro, described the initiative as the outcome of what can be achieved when organisations work together for a common goal, to serve.”