In Depth: Telcos Eye Mobile Money Bonanza Among Nigeria’s Millions of Unbanked

Nigeria’s attempt to replicate the runaway success of Kenya’s mobile money ecosystem risks being tempered by competition rules forcing telcos to separate their communications operations from their payments business.

Africa’s largest economy has struggled to close a yawning financial inclusion gap and around 70 percent of its adult population of 96.4m remain unbanked or underbanked, according to the government, presenting a potentially lucrative untapped market for investors.

Existing regulations designed to facilitate a mobile money framework have failed to spur the widespread adoption of mobile payments and money transfers, however.

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