As part of the renewed efforts to further drive the financial inclusion mandates of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Fidelity Bank Plc has gone live on the NIBSS mCash product which will allow it’s registered merchants to receive payments from customers using their phones. Launched in collaboration with the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), other banks and leading telecommunications companies, this electronic payment solution called ‘microCash’ (mCash) rides on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) technology to enable merchants and customers conduct transactions instantaneously. The new initiative was unveiled in the commercial city of Lagos recently by the lead promoter – NIBSS, with successful live transactions conducted during the product launch including a Fidelity Bank merchant.
In keeping with its promise to make financial services easy and accessible to its teeming customers, Fidelity Bank integrated mCash into its Instant Banking service *770#. With this, customers can now make payments to merchants registered with any participating financial institution. According to the Chief Operations and Information Officer (COIO) of Fidelity Bank Plc, Gbolahan Joshua, the new offering will enable merchants to give their customers another convenient payment option using their mobile phones. The launch of the system, Gbolahan noted is a reflection of the relentless pursuit of efficiency, customer service and innovation by all key stakeholders involved . Specifically, he said that “mCash is a new product that further eliminates the need for cash by offering a simple digital payment solution to the customers of deposit money banks no matter the type of phone been used ‘, adding that ‘the launch of this innovative payment service goes to show the power of collaboration in driving digital payment products”.
Gbolahan expressed confidence that the solution (mCash) will provide immense value to Nigerian banking customers especially with the rapid adoption of the USSD platform. Fidelity Bank currently has over half a million customers using its *770# Instant Banking product which accounts for over 10% of the bank’s transaction volume. Commenting on the service, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NIBSS, Ade Shonubi noted that the initiative is geared towards creating convenient ways of making payments, further adding that a collaboration between the banking and telecommunications industries was necessary to bring this initiative into fruition. Speaking in the same vein, Seun Omotosho, Head of Mobile Financial Services, Etisalat Nigeria, the nation’s fourth largest Mobile Network Operator (MNO) with over 18 million active subscribers, congratulated NIBSS for the successful launch of the service. “At Etisalat Nigeria, we are excited about this solution and all of us have heard about what is happening in East Africa with MPESA and co and we strongly believe this is going to rival it.