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Business Mobile Banking: FirstMonie MD Explains Security Risks, Advantages in Comparison to Internet Banking



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Mr. Mike Ogbalu, the Managing Director of Firstmonie, a subsidiary of First Bank Nigeria plc in an interview with the PUNCH says the Nigerian market is ready for mobile banking.

He says about 40 per cent of the total population has financial services within reach (that is within five kilometers radius) which according to him is a low number, considering factors like post offices, motor parks, microfinance institutions and banks.

"Now, if you look at the mobile, that is the GSM network, they have been able to achieve much higher coverage, and the good thing about the mobile is that it doesn’t require so much infrastructure on the consumer side in order to be able to sell that financial service.

"Also from the point of view of the literacy level, the literacy level in Nigeria is about the same or slightly higher than what you have in Kenya, and Kenya has had a very successful mobile money roll-out ... you find out that all of the odds are in favour of a successful mobile money rollout in Nigeria.

He also says mobile banking has empowered many Nigerians and that the platform is very safe.

"The security that we have is bank-created and conforms to all global standards in providing financial service. Every single transaction is pin-verified, so to be able to break this system, the person needs to be able to get your phone, have access to it and be able to know your pin.

"Beyond that, in terms of security, we are talking about a device that is with the consumer, we are not asking you to do transactions on a third-party device. There is nobody that can protect your device more than yourself. In fact, statistics show that almost 97 per cent of people would not leave their houses without their phones, which is higher than the number of people who will not leave their houses without their wallets. So, somehow, there is an inherent physical security guaranteed by the user themselves.

"Also on the application level, there are things to do with limits. Again, the value is not stored on your phone, so it is not a question that someone loses his money because he lost his phone. The pin gives your device access to a secure backend to be able to facilitate transactions.

"I will also say that while Internet banking is good, mobile banking is better, because you are always in touch with the transaction device. If you are talking of Internet banking, you’ll require a token to be able to complete most transactions, but in this one, everything you require to complete the transactions is in your hands. Secondly, you can be anywhere, as far as there is GSM signal you can access it. You do not necessarily need Internet services.

#Nigeria #FirstMonie #FirstBank #Punch