Commercial banks in Nigeria must address mobile banking bottlenecks to push uptake of services and deepen usage, a new study has said.
The study titled Mobile Phone Banking in Nigeria: Benefits, Problems and Prospects observes that despite significant growth of Nigeria’s internet and mobile telephony space, the country’s banking customers still demonstrate a lacklustre attitude of towards internet banking services.
“Mobile phones are now ubiquitous and a standard aspect of daily life for a large percentage of the world population. In addition, innovations in mobile finances offer the potential to change the way customers conduct financial transactions. Yet many banking customers in Nigeria remain sceptical about the benefits of mobile financial services and the levels of security provided with these services,” states the study by Dr Edwin Agwu and Dr Adele-Louise Carter.
The study reckons that despite Nigeria overtaking South Africa to become the Africa’s largest mobile market with close to 100 million subscribers and market penetration standing at only 60 per cent, adoption of mobile banking services remains depressingly low.
Various factors that include operating costs, lack of awareness, convenience, portability and maintenance, security and converting airtime into cash have hampered uptake of mobile banking in Africa’s most populace nation.
To push for more uptakes, the study urges commercial banks to be more proactive in creating awareness of the services and associated business environment, improve security while the government must enact tough regulations for general electronic banking services.
“Africa is an extremely fast-growing mobile market and yet few Nigerians are making innovative use of mobile phone technology to meet the need for a cashless system,” observes the study.
It adds that for more Nigerians to use mobile banking services, the financial sector must implement reforms with the aim of promoting a sound financial environment.