29th November, 2011
Following the recent granting of licences to mobile money service providers by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, United Bank for Africa, UBA, in conjunction with its associate company, Afri-Pay Limited, has become the first of the 11 licensees, to launch Nigeriaâ€™s first mobile money service, U-Mo.
U-Mo which is available to over 90 million mobile phone subscribers irrespective of the network, is designed to promote savings and enable people to carry out financial transactions, including sending and receiving monies from their phones.
It enables phone users to buy airtime for self and for others, pay bills, pay for goods and services in shops and on the internet.
Speaking at the launch last week, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, said the launch of U-Mo is a major step towards realizing the objectives of the â€˜Cash liteâ€™ policy of the CBN.
According to him, â€œThis product is the first in the banking industry in line with the CBN policy and it is going to be a revolution. This product is unique. Almost any form of transaction can be done through U-Moâ€
He commended the CBN for providing the environment for this to happen as it will in no small measure lead to a higher level of financial inclusion given that there are more phones subscribers than account holders.
Also speaking at the event, the MD of Afri-Pay, Mr. Yinka Adedeji, disclosed that Afri-Pay will offer three categories of U-Mo accounts namely; Silver, Gold and Platinum, differentiated by degree of personal information provided by the subscribers.
He said: â€œU-Mo Silver is offered for customers with very minimal information (names and mobile number) and it allows them to spend or pay up to N3,000 per transaction and up to N30,000. Essentially, U-Mo Silver enables payment for food, transportation and basic goods, buy airtime for self and family, send and receive money from mobile phonesâ€
U-Mo Gold, according to him, is available for customers who are capable of initiating transactions at N10,000 per transaction and up to N100,000 per day. U-Mo Gold can be used to pay for services of high value including buying local airline tickets, among others.
For the U-Mo Platinum, he explained that it is designed for customers with information that include address verification and a reference as it allows customers to spend or pay up to N100,000 per transaction and up to N1,000,000 per day.
U-Mo Platinum customers can use their phones to pay for higher services and good including construction materials, international tickets, etc. All of the product offerings are readily available to any Nigerian that has access to mobile phone or mobile phone agents.
U-Mo is available to UBA and non-UBA customers. Adedeji stated that â€œcustomers with accounts in any bank are encouraged to sign up for U-Mo as they will be able to easily load money from their bank account into U-Mo and move money received on U-Mo account into their bank accounts. U-Mo now makes banking available for everyone, including traders, okada riders, transporters and casual workers, â€œhe added.