ALL YOU NEED IS MONEY TO LIVE THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE, RIGHT? –YOU ARE NOW THE MAN.
If I had a kobo for the number of times I’ve heard that line, I would have by now been a “kobo-lionaire”. You certainly are not in doubt that for one to access certain human needs, one would need access to a certain level of funds. This is why I like it when I hear someone say that he or she likes money, why wouldn’t you? Everything is practically not free and seemingly very expensive in these parts of the world.
However, a certain trend has caught on and is to a very large extent catering for the financial needs of Nigerians. Say “hello” to mobile money. Very recently, a good number of financial technology services have emerged and are delivering a healthy number of financial solutions to its users. Nigeria currently has a population well over 180 million people and 61% according to Bizcommunity is either unbanked or under banked. This provides a healthy market for FinTechs as they target this group of people as well as the banked.
There are a couple of factors driving the success of this trend and they include; the increasing penetration of smart phones (estimated at a 28% increase in 2016) and internet within the country (estimated at 78% in 2016), 150 million mobile phone lines, the movement for the paperless community –which is seeing large percentage of Nigerians perform cashless transactions, technological advancements –there are devices which promotes the use of other forms of payment such as POS and ATMs, and also the convenience of paying for certain important utility bills using these FinTechs –bills like television subscription, power, mobile airtime, rents and more and you can also save money on these mobile solutions as well as receive loans and grants. These FinTechs are delivering a world of possibilities to the financial community.
A PWC 2017 report states that, within the next 5years, 62% of customers would be actively using FinTechs and investment in the sector is speculated to rise to over $150 billion dollars. Big business, isn’t it? Market leaders such as; Paylater, Paga, Alat, 247Cash, eTransact, Flutterwave, Interswitch and so on are at the heart beat of this trend.
I am concerned that this trend is likely to make debtors out of a lot of Nigerians as it provides quick and easy credit solutions in form of loans –something we never used to have easily accessible in the country. However, mobile money is charting a course to convenient financial transactions and you do not want to be left out of the money train.