From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja
As part of efforts to deepen banking services and ensure that over 70 per cent Nigerians, hitherto excluded from contributing to the economy, are captured in the system, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has licensed 15 institutions, including some telecommunications companies, for its mobile banking services.
They will use their platforms to send money, receive money and make payments through mobile phones. Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mallam Umaru Ibrahim, who disclosed this recently, said that the corporation was designing an appropriate insurance to protect funds used for the transactions in the new payment system, saying that such an effort is expected to further enhance the system.
It would be recalled that early this year, the CBN had introduced a cashless system of transactions with Lagos as pilot phase, with a view to reducing the cost of banking services (including cost of credit) and drive financial inclusion by providing more efficient transaction options and greater reach. Another reason for the introduction, according to CBN, is to improve the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation and driving economic growth.
The cash-based transactions stipulates a ‘cash handling charge’ on daily cash withdrawals or cash deposits that exceed N500,000 for individuals and N3,000,000 for corporate bodies. It further said that the new policy on cash-based transactions (withdrawals and deposits) in banks, aims at reducing the amount of physical cash (coins and notes) circulating in the economy, and encouraging more electronic-based transactions (payments for goods, services, transfers, etc.).
All the steps, the apex bank noted, are to ensure that everybody contributes to the economy one way or another.