The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted a provisional license to UK mobile money operator Monitise to introduce m-payments across the country.
The move will see Monitise utilising its Globe platform, to offer financial services over the mobile phone to the unbanked, including savings, insurance and pensions. The service will also see the first deployment of the Monitise Mobile Wallet solution.
The project will be in part enabled by $1.5m of development funding made by the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund to Monitise in 2009.
Prateek Shrivastava, managing director of Monitise Africa, says: "Of Nigeria's 149 million strong population, 19 million have bank accounts, but 75 million have mobile phones - which amply illustrates the potential of mobile payments services across the country."
The first phase of the Monitise service will be launched in 2011 directly to consumers. In parallel the service will also be offered on a white label basis to the country's banks and financial service providers.
Lee Cameron, chief commercial officer of Monitise, says: "We are committed to bringing the latest developments in mobile money management and payments to the unbanked across not just Africa but India and South East Asia as well."