This post discusses the mobile money operators in Nigeria. If you’re researching or looking for information to help you make the best decision, you might want to hang on.
Let’s get to it.
Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria – An Introduction
The history and development of cash transactions in Nigeria is quite an interesting one.
Barely 50 years ago, no one really thought there would be something like “mobile money operators in Nigeria.”
Some time ago, a visit to the bank was the only guaranteed way of withdrawing or transferring cash.
At the time, it didn’t seem like there’d be an alternative to this stressful process, but alas, the ATM was introduced.
With the ATM, people no longer needed to visit banks to make basic cash transactions.
But with time, people needed more.
It was with this desire and the advent of financial technology, that the concept of mobile money in Nigeria was born.
You’ll find out more about this concept soon enough.
Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria
Mobile money operators are financial institutions licensed to provide financial services such as mobile money transfer and withdrawal, inquiries, and many more to the general public using mobile phones and other portable gadgets.
In simpler terms, a mobile money operator allows you to make cash transactions using a mobile phone.
Most mobile money services now make use of mobile apps that operate just like a mobile banking app, which further enhances the mobile money experience.
The earliest operations of mobile money operators in Nigeria can be traced back to 2009, but many more of them have emerged since then.
Mobile money services also provide employment opportunities through their agent program.
Individuals can now simply recharge and make money by working for mobile money operators.
List of Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria
Mobile Money operators have gained some popularity in Nigeria.
Most of these mobile money operators won the hearts of many Nigerians with their superb ads on TV, social media, and print media, as well as their exquisite and seamless financial services.
Here is a complete list of licensed mobile money operators in Nigeria;
- Kudi Mobile
- OPay (Paycom Nigeria Limited)
Paga is one of the most popular mobile money platforms in Nigeria.
It is a mobile money company that allows its users/subscribers to transfer funds and make payments through their smartphones.
Pretty convenient, right?
It was created by Tayo Oviosu in 2009 to revolutionize the state of cash transactions in the country.
The platform began operations in 2011.
The Paga concept eliminates the need for banks to make cashless transactions.
Paga makes it possible to pay cable bills (DSTV, GoTv), save and deposit money, and pay for prepaid phone bills.
Apart from all these, it also offers conventional banking services like merchant services and savings accounts.
This mobile money service provider currently has over 17 million customers and 27 thousand agents all over the country.
Paga Agents are individuals in direct contact with the community.
The roles the Paga Agents perform include;
- Registration of new customers
- Performing transactions on behalf of the customer
- Helping Paga customers with transaction-related issues
- Loading cash into customers’ Paga accounts, and
- Processing cash withdrawal requests.
Paga services can be accessed through the mobile app or online through the company’s website.
Paga meaning: Pagatech Limited.
The brand name “MoMo” was coined from “Mobile Money.”
The platform is a mobile payment initiative designed and introduced by MTN telecommunications.
MTN Mobile Money Nigeria allows its users to send, receive, and save money through their mobile phones.
It was launched on September 19, 2019.
MoMo also offers online shopping services, as well as investment options.
MoMo users pay a wide range of bills and purchase basic things like data and airtime too.
Unlike conventional banks in Nigeria, MoMo doesn’t charge fees for most transactions.
The presence of MoMo eliminates the need to visit banks or carry cash to purchase goods and services.
The service is already in use by millions of Nigerians and others all over the continent, and they have over 150,000 agents ready to help customers with their transaction needs.
FirstMonie is an electronic wallet/mobile money payment service owned by First Bank of Nigeria.
The FirstMonie launch event took place at WheatBaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos on the 19th of September, 2013.
FirstMonie is powered by Fundamo, a Visa company responsible for the launch of the world’s first mobile financial service in emerging markets in collaboration with Celpay in Zambia.
The tag phrase “FirstMonie is the new money” describes the sort of evolution and difference this platform aims to make.
This First Bank Mobile Money transfer scheme was established to provide excellent financial services in Nigeria, taking the underbanked and unbanked into consideration.
With FirstMonie, Nigerians can now make transactions, pay for utility and phone bills, and shop online on their mobile phones.
The FirstMonie app is available on Apple Store and PlayStore.
FirstMonie has thousands of agents all over the country and the FirstMonie agent commissions depend on the number of fee-based transactions completed.
As a product of one of the best commercial banks in Nigeria, expectations are high for FirstMonie, and so far, it has been doing excellently well.
Kudi Mobile is another product of the current trend of mobile wallets.
Just like other mobile money platforms, the goal is to create financial inclusion “with everyone, for everyone.”
It was founded in 2016 by Pelumi Aboluwarin and Yinka Adewale as part of efforts to create seamless banking in Africa and the world as a whole.
Currently, it is one of the most prominent mobile money companies in Nigeria.
With the Kudi Mobile app, people can now make cash transactions, pay bills, and also make money at it, by becoming an agent.
By using POS and mobile phones, Kudi Agents can assist with cash transfers, withdrawals, and other transactions.
SurePadi is the mobile money service of Polaris Bank Ltd.
It is an initiative that was launched in 2020 to provide convenience and ease in banking operations.
Within its first 100 days of introduction, SurePadi serviced over half a million customers, directly influencing an estimated two million households across the seven business regions of the Bank nationwide, with a transaction volume of over 10 billion Nigerian Naira.
Polaris Bank, through this mobile wallet initiative, is significantly fulfilling its aim of driving financial inclusion of the underbanked and unbanked in line with the policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
SurePadi agents can be found all over the country.
SurePadi agents functions include;
- Account Opening
- Money transfer
- Cash deposits
- Cash withdrawals
- Bill payment
- BVN enrollment
- Airtime and data purchase, and
- many more.
OPay (Paycom Nigeria Limited)
OPay is a multi-business initiative established by the Opera Group in 2018.
Opera is one of the most popular browsers in Nigeria, and it used this as leverage to create and promote its business enterprise, which allows people to transfer, save, and receive money, conduct basic cash transactions, and other services that have been added over the years.
Currently, OPay has a network of 300,000 agents and over 5 million registered app users.
You can find OPay Agent POS centers in different geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Just last year, OPay and global money transfer juggernaut, WorldRemit announced a partnership to enable Nigerians to receive money from over 50 countries globally, including the United States and Canada, directly into their OPay wallet.
As a result of this partnership, people abroad can send money to Nigeria and vice versa, seamlessly.
OPay’s growing list of services puts them in a vantage position to take over the world of mobile money and it most likely will.
Visit Apple Store or PlayStore to initiate the OPay app download process.
The PocketMoni platform was launched in 2010, and in over a decade now, it has positively influenced the banking situation of underbanked and unbanked Nigerians.
The platform’s exploits in mobile banking earned it the award of “Mobile Operator of the year” in 2018.
PocketMoni has over 10,000 agents and its app has registered over 50,000 downloads.
The platform is one of the best for paying bills, purchasing airtime, and transferring and receiving money.
The sign-up process is fast, and surprisingly, PocketMoni has a USSD option.
Simply dial *389*0# to get started.
PalmPay is a simple electronic wallet that aims to simplify cash transactions and provide alternatives for individuals that have no access to banks.
It is jointly owned by Transnet—a joint venture firm between Transsion and NetEase and was established in 2019.
PalmPay often comes pre-installed on Transsion’s mobile phone brands such as Tecno, Infinix, and Itel.
The platform has over a million users – a figure that is projected to multiply in coming years.
PalmPay can be used for sending and receiving money, to pay bills, purchase data and airtime, and many other operations.
The best thing about most of these transactions is that they mostly come for free, and even when they charge for their services, it is often a meager amount.
QikQik (Quickteller) is one of a long list of electronic payment companies in Nigeria.
It was launched in 2012 by Unity Bank, however, it is powered by Eartholeum Networks.
Apart from basic services like cash transfer, bill payment, and airtime/data purchase, other services are available on QikQik include shopping, loans, flight bookings, and event ticketing.
This has revolutionized the concept of mobile money in Nigeria.
EazyMoney is a Zenith Bank initiative to provide alternative banking options for the underbanked and unbanked population.
Just like other mobile money platforms, EazyMoney services can be accessed via the mobile app or online through the website.
The mobile app offers transaction execution using QR (Quick Response) codes.
It is top of the list of CBN licensed mobile money operators in Nigeria.
This initiative makes it easy to send and receive money through a mobile phone, and with the help of EazyMoney agents spread across the country, users can carry out a wide range of financial operations.
U-Mo was the very first mobile money service in Nigeria.
With U-Mo, UBA, in conjunction with AfriPay launched the trend of electronic wallets right after the granting of licenses by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2011.
There are three different U-Mo account types, each varying in per transaction limit target, daily transaction limits, target market, and required documents for registration.
- U-Mo Gold
- U-Mo Silver,
- and U-Mo platinum.
U-Mo Silver has a single transaction limit of 3,000 naira and a daily transaction limit of 30,000 naira. Registration requires less serious documentation.
The only requirement is to fill a form requesting basic personal information.
U-Mo Gold has a single transaction limit of 10,000 naira, and a daily transaction limit of 100,000 naira. Registration requires some documents – at least more than U-Mo Silver
U-Mo Platinum has a single transaction limit of 100,000 naira and a daily transaction limit of 1,000,000 naira.
More documentation is required to register for this type of account.
However, one can provide the account number of an existing account with any bank in Nigeria to skip providing documentation.
Other Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria
Other notable Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria include:
- Google Wallet
- GtBank Mobile Money
- M-Teller Mobile Money
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria
How to become a Momo Agent
Step 1: Confirm if you meet the all requirements below.
Requirements for MoMo Agents
- At least 1 passport photograph.
- MoMo agents must be operating an existing business or be willing to invest in agency business.
- Agents must own or setup permanent/ brick and mortar shop
- Starting capital of N20,000 and above.
- Viable means of identification (National ID, Driver’s License, International passport, or Voter card).
If you successfully check the above requirements, then you’re eligible to continue with the remaining steps.
Step 2: Visit the nearest MTN outlet to pick up a MoMo Agent registration form.
Fill in and submit the required details.
After submission, you will be contacted to set up a meeting that will determine if you are suitable to become a MoMo agent.
How to become a Paga Agent
Visit their website to sign up to become a registered Paga Agent.
If you do not receive a reply after two weeks, send an application email to [email protected].
You will be contacted by Paga agents on how to complete the registration and begin your journey as a Paga agent yourself.
The Paga agent registration fee is 20,000 naira.
Paga Agents enjoy the benefits of commissions and bonuses.
Payment via commission depends on the number of customer transactions they perform.
The more transactions executed, the more agents earn.
Agents are often enlightened on their commissions upon registration.
How to become an OPay Agent
Step 1: Confirm if you meet all the requirements below
- Basic reading, writing, and communication skills.
- Passport photograph, utility bill (e.g. NEPA bill), viable means of identification (Driver’s license, Voter’s card, National ID, or International passport), and Corporate Affair Commission documents (optional).
- A brick and mortar shop (smaller or medium size)
- Possession of internet-enabled and fully functional smartphone (Android or iPhone)
- Customer relation skills (Bonus requirement)
- Biometric Verification Number (BVN)
If you check all the above requirements, then you’re good to go on with the remaining steps.
Step 2: Download and install the OPay App on your smartphone (Apple Store for iOS and PlayStore for Android)
Step 3: Use your active phone number to register and complete the installation.
The Step 4: Initiate a chat with the Support team and request an agent registration form.
Step 5: Fill the form as required and provide all necessary documentation.
The OPay team will reach out to you to discuss your suitability and eligibility to become an OPay agent.
How much is Pocketmoni agent commission?
The commissions and benefits available to PocketMoni Agents are:
- 5% on direct airtime sales
- 2% on third-part airtime sales
- 500 naira on each sale of PocketMoni Mastercard
- 2,000 naira each for referral of new agents
- 40% of direct transaction fees per active user
- 40% of third-part transactions per active user
What is mobile money in Nigeria?
Mobile money is one of many types of payment systems in Nigeria.
In simple terms, it is a payment system that allows individuals to make transactions using their mobile phones.
This “Cash Lite” method is operational in Nigeria and there is a long list of approved mobile money operators in Nigeria.
Mobile Money agents in Nigeria are representatives of mobile money operators that help clients with executing their cash transactions.
Some of the responsibilities of mobile money agents are:
- To help new customers open accounts
- Money transfer
- Cash withdrawals using POS
- Bill payment
- BVN enrollment
- Airtime and data purchase
What is SANEF?
SANEF stands for Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities.
The initiative was launched in 2019 to assist with financial inclusion in Nigeria.
It also aims to initiate nationwide awareness about financial literacy, support attractive financial products and services, and increase financial access points and agents.
It is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), backed by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS), and Licensed Mobile Money Operators/Shared Agents.
Conclusion on Mobile Money Operators in Nigeria
Mobile money is driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Less literate and tech-savvy individuals can now perform online/cashless transactions thanks to mobile money.
Banking in Nigeria and the world as a whole has evolved from what it used to be, and mobile money is just a flash of what the future holds.
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