About Mobile Money


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Posted by on Tuesday March 12, 2013 at 10:18:24:

Mobile money services are growing in Africa, particularly Nigeria and now, a lot of banks and gsm providers already offer them to the millions of mobile phone users in the rural and urban centers.

Mobile money is quite different from mobile banking as it is a service that allows a registered gsm subscriber or mobile phone user to do business transactions with his mobile phone using a set of sim actions such as USSD or sms.

Just like having a savings account allows you to deposit money, make withdrawals, transfers as well as payments via an ATM, mobile money also works in a similar way but in this case, one's mobile phone number is the bank account and that bank account would have to be funded before it can be used to make payments or fund transfers.

Mobile money is useful when phone users have already been duly registered so that their numbers can now be used to create mobile money accounts by submitting an application that has been digitally signed by that mobile phone number.

For first time users, the basis is that the mobile phone subscriber should request for an account to be created by performing a sim action such as sms or USSD and then submitting his personal data across the network. The registration would allow his mobile money account to be created and this works like a normal bank account that can accept deposits and make transfers.

Installing the Application menu
Most mobile money service providers do offer subscribers the option of installing an app for their mobile phone which can either be in .jad or .jar form. For phones that are capable of installing apps, it would be downloaded and installed on the registered phone so that the subscriber would then be able to use it. Once installed, one would be able to perform tasks from it's menu.

For other not so smart phones, there is always the option for sms or USSD which all phones can do but that makes the work harder for subscribers since they'd have to know which codes to use. One way to ease this would be to save the USSD codes for several payments or transfers in your phone contacts.

Funding a mobile money account
This is the next logical step to using a mobile money account after first time registration. So, the next step is to fund the account as this would then allow one to make payments from it. This can be done by the holder visiting a mobile money office and funding the account in cash, ATM or doing a bank transfer and the funds would be credited to the mobile money account

Unlike a normal bank account, the mobile money account doesn't have to be funded with millions and I think there is a daily limit like N20,000. It is just basically money that allows one to make payments and basically keep the account active. That's a good thing so that even if your account is hacked, all your funds won't be at risk unlike an ATM card so I think a mobile money account is somehow safer than an ATM as it is only limited to the funds you've added to it.

Once your account has been funded, you'll receive a notification about it and be even able to check your balance.

Making payments with a mobile money account
As we said, one's mobile money account is connected to his mobile phone number from which he can make transactions. Once the funds are in, the holder can then make payments using the account by using the sim menu, USSD or SMS service available to him. Different mobile money service providers have different USSD codes or apps that allow you to do this. Once you request for a payment using your mobile phone, you'll have to confirm it and then it would be executed from your mobile money account leaving you with a debit. One can make different types of payment with your mobile account such as Cable tv, PHCN, Internet, School fees, Utility bills and so on.

Making withdrawals from a Mobile money account
Your mobile money account also allows you to make withdrawals. Assuming you have funds in them either from deposits or from transfers received, you should be able to access such funds. One way which service providers offer subscribers the ability to make a withdrawal from a mobile money account is via cashless ATM withdrawals. In this case, the mobile phone contains the ATM card and cardless ATM outlets would be used. When you make a request for a withdrawal, you will be give directions on how to withdraw from such ATMs and a PIN with card number may be generated for the user to make such withdrawals.

What to do when your phone gets lost
If you are mobile phone subscriber and your phone is already active, capable of transferring funds but gets lost or stolen, you shouldn't be bothered so much since the funds are limited in your account. However, the first thing you should do is a sim swap and once that is done, nobody would be even able to use your stolen or lost phone to make a withdrawal or payment. You could as well report to your bank or mobile money provider on the next steps to follow but I think the sim swap is the first step. This helps you to deactivate the old sim and activate a new one with your same number.

Mobile money account vs Savings account
Not everyone has a savings account but everyone with a mobile phone can have a mobile money account. Mobile money accounts are basically an opportunity for people who don't want to be bothered about the stress related to managing or opening a savings account. One thing I've also noticed with mobile money accounts is that they don't earn you interest on savings unlike a savings account and even charge you per transaction and maintenance. There is also less documentation with using a mobile money account than a savings account so it is basically bringing banking opportunities to the un-banked.

    Re: About Mobile Money Reply by ARTHUR on Monday March 24, 2014 at 22:25:50:


    Re: About Mobile Money Reply by Felix Okoli on Monday March 24, 2014 at 22:25:50:

    You need to at least have a meter number in order to buy the meter token or pay phcn bill.

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