Business Hilights

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Mcash relaunch

Can reloaded mCASH by NIBSS, MTN, 16 banks survive apathy?

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Earlier this week or Tuesday to be precise, about 16 commercial banks joined forces with telecom giant, MTN Nigeria, and all major mobile telecoms, returned to the trenches with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS’) to re-launch mCASH.

The key target is to speed up financial inclusion and mobile money platform.

Business Hilights recalls that mCASH first launched in 2016, is a mobile payment system for making low-value retail payments designed to extend e-payment options to low-income buyers and sellers who deal in cash.

Financial and digital analysts who expressed delight on the re-launch however, queried whether all the parties to the re-launch had reviewed what and what that caused the near failure of the platform since 2016 or why uptake was nearly stagnant after all.

Whereas a set of observers traced the inability of mCASH launch in 2016 to rise to the challenge to weak network capacity to give instant alerts and transaction confirmation, others still link poor subscription to poor trust on the nation’s financial system, fear of fraud and to a larger extend, poor digital awareness on majority of Nigerians.

However, in his remarks at the re-launch of the platform in Lagos, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ferdi Moolman, represented by the General Manager, Mobile Financial Services, MTN, Usoro Usoro, described the initiative as “the outcome of what can be achieved when organisations work together for a common goal, to serve”.

According to him, “It’s incredible how much the world has changed and continues to evolve with new ideas and technologies. Today, Africa is increasingly embracing new ways of payment for retail consumption and transactions”.

“For those of us in the telecoms industry, this presented us with the question; how do we fully utilise all available options to provide standardised and efficient mobile cashless services for micro-payment and collections? The answer? Ladies and gentlemen is MCASH,” he said.

Explaining more at the event, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NIBSS, Adebisi Shonubi, said “the MCASH initiative was borne out of the need to enhance financial inclusion in Nigeria, by extending e-payment benefits to payers and merchants who operate at the local levels especially the small and medium scale business owners”.

He stressed that “The intention is to expand the payment opportunity for people who still use cash today to find a more convenient means of making payments. To ensure the paradigm shift, we had to promote an ecosystem partnership consisting of banks and telecommunication companies thereby birthing what has become a novel collaboration anywhere in the world – a service that is not one bank or one telecom driven but ecosystem driven”.

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