Etisalat Group has announced the commercial launch of mobile commerce features currently available all over Nigeria.
For the first time, customers can access multiple schemes and banks through an intuitive user interface that has been installed directly on the consumer's SIM cards.
The interface is available in English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages and can be accessible on any type of mobile phone, even the most basic types.
The telco is also using ISO-1 compliant security features so that customer transactions cannot be intercepted or manipulated by fraudsters.
Etisalat's Mobile Commerce service is developed in line with the strategy of including unbanked and under-banked customers into regulated financial services. This will allow millions of people with access to banking for the first time.
The application will allow users to pay bills and pay for goods and services, receive and send money to friends and family, withdraw cash, top up their own airtime account or for someone else and lastly have access to manage their bank accounts.
Ahmad Julfar, Etisalat Group's CEO said: "This represents the latest chapter in our work to develop innovative mobile solutions for our global customer base. For any market in the world, the combination of services we are providing would be exciting, and when set in an African context, the implications are especially profound.
"With a potential customer base of over 180 million people in Nigeria, many of whom have never had access to formal financial services, we believe that mobile commerce has important consequences for the future of banking in Africa and globally. Earlier this year, Etisalat's commerce platform was awarded the ‘Best Mobile Money Innovation' for making financial services accessible to millions of people at the GSMA awards at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Our service launch in Nigeria is continuation of our journey to provide the most market-relevant, transformational mobile financial services across our global markets."
Khalifa Al Shamsi, Etisalat Group Chief Digital services officer said: "Research has shown that m-banking and m-payments can help lower the transaction costs and increase the flow of money transfers, as well as introducing those without bank accounts to a means of secure financial management never offered to them in the past.
"By enabling people to use their mobile phones as mobile wallets, we hope to deliver lasting benefits not just for our customers, but also for the economies of the countries in which we operate. We believe the benefits to our customers will be immense and that this has the potential to transform the way money is handled and managed. Mobile phones have already improved life in many ways, and it's exciting to see the advancements in world-class mobile banking services flourish at such a rate."