Money on the move

 Mercy has sent this blog from Fantsuam in Nigeria

Fantsuam going into mobile money

Although the Nigerian Central Bank has been encouraging the reduction of cash transactions through the introduction of debit cards, eMoney and transfers, financial transactions in rural communities continue to be largely by cash. When the ‘Growing Businesses Foundation’ asked if Fantsuam would be its partner in introducing a pilot Mobile Money scheme to rural women, it was an appealing idea. Fantsuam’s experience of cash transactions in its microfinance service shows that cash has serious security lapses. In contrast, Fantsuam is aware of the easy uptake of Mobile Money transactions in Kenya and Uganda.

A challenge for Fantsuam's new microfinance advisor

This opportunity has coincided with the arrival of a seasoned microfinance adviser from Uganda, under the VSO-Nigeria programme. Charles Esolu has extensive experience in the deployment of Mobile Money services. His major task in Fantsuam is the development of a Mobile Money service so that Fantsuam’s operations will be fully compliant with this technology within 3 months.

A great business opportunity for local, rural women

Mobile Money is a cash transaction service managed on a mobile phone or the internet. The service is designed and distributed by telecommunication companies in collaboration with financial institutions through individuals who serve as agents. Mobile Money agents get commission for the transactions they facilitate which will serve as an additional source of income. The criteria set by Fantsuam is that the agents should be women between 20 and 45 years old and numerate and literate in the use of mobile phones. They must have existing businesses in high foot traffic locations within 10km of the bank and be willing to open a savings account with them. This is a great opportunity for our local women to be among the first set of 250 Mobile Money retailers.

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