Nigerians Use Mobile Wallets To Scale Bank Charges And Easy Transaction

By Clement Alphonsus

The rapid rise in the growth of mobile money technology in Nigeria was a phenomenon that was not embraced by all, especially the older persons who derived their confidence in banking through a brick-and-mortar bank.

However, the tradition of performing physical banking transactions is gradually going into extinction, as many Nigerians are now adopting the use of mobile wallets.

The reasons are not far-fetched as many see the innovation as a means to run away from the various charges, and stress accompanied by transactions from traditional banks, even with the use of electronic payment channels such as Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD, and online banking applications.

According to Miss. Adesesan Yinka, a Point of Sale agent, some mobile money banks also give out cash prizes as incentives for using these wallets.

"Mobile wallets are a very good and secure means of saving and investing your money.

"I use a wallet which has features that can enable you to save for some time and you will get 15 per cent per annum as returns on the amount you saved.

"Sometimes I am given a cash bonus for transactions I make which my bank has never given me. All these ridiculous charges the conventional banks will debit you for transactions are absent. Sometimes I would need to stand in queues in the bank to solve a failed transaction of which I was debited and the beneficiary was not credited.

"Such times you will feel like tearing down the bank."

Additionally, Mr. Oladotun Simon, a phone accessories trader, said: "Many people are using these mobile wallets now. Many of the shops I visited to buy wares last week were filled with traders using wallets. When I asked the person I bought some earpieces from, he said he uses a wallet for transactions.

"I had to transfer to that account which was his mobile phone number. The same goes for others.

"The inquisitive me had to ask one of the traders why he doesn't use a bank account. He said the wallet is not problematic as there is nothing like a fake bank alert, no fund reversal among other issues and that the charges are less and that he doesn't have the money to waste or lose in such a struggling economy.

"I was very surprised that Nigerians who were used to conventional bank accounts have now upgraded digitally to save cost."

Mobile wallets are innovations of Financial Technology (Fintech) and most telecommunication companies (Mobile money operators) facilitate mobile transactions through the use of mobile applications

It is a technology that allows you to save, receive, and spend money from the convenience of a mobile phone. Some of the wallets also enable customers to borrow loans.

Examples of mobile wallets include Paga, Opay, Get barter, Chippercash, and palm credit among others.