First Bank of Nigeria (FirstBank) has launched its mobile money
service, FirstMonie, with the aim of increasing local money

Customers using FirstMonie services will use their mobile phone
number as the account number and registration for the service is
free. The new service goes with the slogan “FirstMonie is the new

The operating platform for FirstMonie is
powered Fundamo, a mobile financial services solutions provider
Visa acquired in June 2011.

With FirstMonie, FirstBank customers and anyone in Nigeria with
a mobile phone will be allowed to send money, pay bills, deposit
and withdraw cash, top up their phone airtime, without visiting a
bank branch.

FirstBank’s managing director and CEO, Bisi Onasanya said:

“FirstMonie services have been created with three principles in
mind. The first is defined by how consumers receive money to fund
their unique lifestyles; how consumers spend money for their unique
lifestyle needs; and thirdly, the ability of the consumer to be
informed and in control of their money.

Onasanya informed that FirstBank is recruiting agents across
Nigeria “to meet the needs” of its consumers.

FirstBank already has approximately 700 branches and business
correspondent outlets across the country, approximately 1,900 ATMs
– cash deposit, card-less and biometric, over 6m active accounts
and over 18,000 point of sale terminals.

The ‘Cashless Nigeria Initiative’, introduced by the Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that commenced in Lagos in January 2012, is a
“significant step towards reducing cash-based transactions and
driving the provision and adoption of electronic financial
services”, added Onasanya.

“However, it is important to point out that even before the new
CBN policy came on stream, we had taken some proactive measures by
rolling out various e-transaction services and products of our own.
For instance, our online-real time banking services have been in
place for almost two decades, in addition to massive deployment of
alternative delivery channels, such as POS, ATM, and internet
banking,” Onasanya further said.

Hannes van Rensburg, CEO of Fundamo said Nigeria’s unbanked
population and high number of mobile phone users create an
“unprecedented opportunity for mobile financial services to act as
an agent of positive and fundamental social, economic and
technological change”.  


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