[INTERVIEW] G2P has great potential in Nigeria – Killian Clifford – Director, MobileMoney Consulting
Killian Clifford – Director, Mobile Money Consulting.
He will be speaking at the upcoming Mobile Money West Africa Summit 5-6 March in Lagos. If you wish to set up a meeting please get in touch.
Share your African experiences in the mobile money space with us?
I have worked on numerous mobile projects in the African region, including rolling out services in southern Africa, assisting operators perfect their business models, helping an operator acquire a bank license as well as becoming an expert on the Nigerian market.
West Africa is still struggling to catch up with East Africa .Why is this so and what must we do to level up?
Governments have been slower to permit mobile money services in this region than in East Africa. And when the regulations come they tend to be over restrictive. That said the mobile money industry is taking off nicely in Ghana and the potential in Nigeria is huge if the operators develop the right business model.
Is Government social payments an enabler to consumer uptake of mobile money services?
It needs to be remembered that government payments (G2P) are not just restricted to social payments but can be extended to salaries and even pensions, not unimportant in countries where the public sector workforce can be 40% or more of the total. But perhaps the G2P idea with greatest potential is around taxes and the distribution of after tax salaries to both public and private sectors and also after tax (vat) purchases. RT Pay have a great proposal around that and I recommend that people catch their presentation.
Are the financial institutions gaining enough knowledge to deploy mobile money services in countries like Nigeria where MNO’s are not permitted?
I think the biggest issues for designing mobile money services in Nigeria are around the distribution network and also targeting the unbanked. From what I see some operators have a better grasp of this than others and many could do with some experienced and expertise input. Certainly MNO’s have an advantage in both these areas over financial institutions and it is puzzling as to why they were excluded.
Agency network is alien to Banking in West Africa. Are Banks able to balance risk as they approach these uncharted territories of mobile money?
Employing agent networks for branchless banking is not alien for micro-finance providers and perhaps they have a competitive advantage on that count. For bigger retail banks I don’t think using an agent network adds any risk to their business, as long as transactions are subject to the usual checks and balances. The question is whether they want to go after the unbanked in those hard to reach areas in the first place.
What must be done to achieve interoperability in West Africa as a region and in specific countries in the region?
There are three main areas to tackle. Firstly mobile money operators need to be able to connect to a national payment switch. Secondly agents shouldn’t have a exclusive relationship with a dominant operator. And thirdly users should be able to access multiple mobile money services from one sim card. Governments can help facilitate this through regulations, as is the case in Nigeria.
What does the future hold with big players like VISA venturing into the mobile money space in Africa?
For the card payment companies in Africa, mobile payments offer the chance to participate in a new payments ecosystem where there was none before. This is an untapped market and a multi-billion dollar industry. MasterCard have just launched an exciting development called the Mobile Money Partnership that allows mobile money operators to connect up to the wider payments world. Certainly one to be watch in the near future.
What should the delegates expect at the Mobile Money West Africa summit?
To learn more about the exciting potential of mobile money in the region, the steps necessary to make it work and how to take full advantage of it. An exciting time for all!
This interview was conducted by Mobile Money Africa.
This article was originally posted on Africa ICT & Telecom Network