Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), and the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday introduced a new financial services product aimed at making low-value retail payments easier.
Tagged ‘mCash,’ this Micro-payment Platform is an innovative solution designed to facilitate low-value retail payments, drive payments by providing accessible electronic channels to a wider range of users and to further grow financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of the new solution in Lagos, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NIBSS, Mr Ade Shonubi said the idea behind mCash is to further enhance financial inclusion in Nigeria by extending e-payment benefits to payers and Marchants who operate at the local levels especial the Small and Medium scale business owners.
According to him, mCash leverages the mobile phone USSD technology which in recent times has become the most accessible channel for processing financial and non-financial transactions.
His words: “This innovation leverages the NIBSS Instants Payment infrastructure (NIP) for immediate fund delivery to merchants accounts and the mobile telephone USSD technology which in recent times has become the most accessible channel for financial and non-financial transactions.”
He explained that the whole intention is to broaden the opportunity for people who still use cash today to find it a more convenient means of making payments.
The CBN according to the NIBSS boss, has been pushing for a cashless initiative for a long time and the banking public have seen significant gains that are derivable there from, but “a lot of the people who have benefited so far have been the 26 to 27 million banking customers.”
He said further ”as we begin to make real the dream for financial inclusion and as we begin to realize that a lot of government social programs will touch a lot of people, we have to start creating the opportunity for them to have commerce that is not just tied around cash.”
Explaining further, he observed that mCash has two ways it could be accessed either as a Merchant (sellers) or buyer. As a seller, all that is needed is to “register for mcash with a financial institution and the customer will be issued an eight-digit seller code, while as a buyer simply dial *402*sellercode*amount#. The screen will display the name of the seller and list of banks from which the user will select his or her bank,and then input PIN/CODE.
Also Speaking at the event Principal Manager,Banking and Payment Systems Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Joe Obogo congratulated NIBSS and the various financial institutions for their collaboration and appealed to all to use the product7m
He said, “the presence of CBN here gives credit to what NIBSS is doing and my appeal to everyone is to encourage usage of this product because it will boost financial inclusion.”
This innovation also provides financial institutions a choice of either allowing their respective customers to access this new service with the mcash general short code 402 or display their allocated mcash merchant codes of 8 – digits which will be issued by the financial institution after registering for mcash.
Either way there are no USSD charges to pay.