The need for the media to create more enlightenment around the issue of mobile money and sensitise the public on what it entails, was again brought to the fore at this year’s edition of the annual Brands and Marketing Conference, organised by the Brands Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN), over the weekend, in Lagos.
Making this charge at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of eMaginations, Mr Sola Fanawopo argued that despite the immense benefits of the mobile money initiative to the people, the culture has not made an inroad in the country; it had not enjoyed the support of the media.
He noted that since the focus of mobile money is geared towards financial inclusion, the focus of the media, therefore, should be how such initiative would be communicated to the mass market which the initiative is designed for.
“Unlike in Kenya, where mobile money is hugely popular, the media in Nigeria have not really taken in the essence of mobile money. The media that should have driven the initiative don’t seem to know much about it and this is one of the reasons it is still highly unpopular in the country despite its immense benefits. For mobile money to enjoy that much-needed popularity, the media must be actively involved,” he argued.
In his paper titled ‘Mobile Money: Nexus Between Technology and Financial Institutions, the Head, Mobile and Acquiring Channels, Stanbic IBTC, Mr Francis Nwoboshi, expressed the bank’s commitment to championing the cause of mobile in the country, because of its immense benefits to the unbanked.
He explained that the essence of mobile money is to reduce financial exclusion by making available an easy channel that neither requires the customer to visit the banking hall nor hold a bank account.
Nwoboshi, however, expressed the bank’s determination to embark on aggressive marketing and leverage on technology to be able to provide the mobile money services to the unbanked in the country.
In his remarks, the Chairman of BJAN, Mr Goddie Ofose, described the association’s decision to adopt mobile money as the focus of this year’s conference, as a fulfilment of its advocacy role of bringing issues that would impact positively on the society to the front burner.
He added that the main objective of the conference was to raise issues, concerning mobile money in Nigeria and seek ways on how to enhance mobile money culture among Nigerians.