Nigeria’s Zenith Bank launches mobile money for the unbanked

Nigeria’s Zenith Bank has launched Eazy Money, a mobile money transfer service, in an effort it says is aimed “at reaching millions” of the country’s unbanked phone users.

Nigeria has over 100 million mobile phone subscribers, yet over 80 percent of the population is unbanked. Zenith hopes that Eazy Money will fill this gap for the unbanked, through person-to-person transfers and banking services, it said in a statement.

Eazy Money is a fast and flexible mobile payment solution for use in depositing money, cash withdrawals, money transfers from bank-to-mobile or mobile-to-mobile, as well as to make purchases.

Apart from sending money, a subscriber can use it to pay bills or buy airtime. Eazy Money’s e-wallet can also be used as a personal current account.

“It is generally too expensive for banks to place retail branches and ATMs in rural and sparsely populated areas. The informal networks through which low-income people store and transfer money have high transaction costs and are prone to theft,” the bank said.

Corporate firms can also use the service to pay salaries to employees, m-wallets, send premiums for pensions, bursaries and other payment schemes, point-of-sale payments, lease-to-own payments, domestic and International remittances, bills payments or collections, life Insurance and payroll direct deposit.

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