Two of Nigeria’s foremost financial analysts have applauded Nigeria’s biggest Mobile Money Agent Network, Glo Xchange, recently launched by Globacom. Glo Xchange was launched in partnership with four mobile money operators, FirstMonie, Stanbic IBTC, Ecobank and Zenith Bank. Renowned financial consultant and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane and macroeconomics expert and CEO of Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, who spoke at the formal launch in Lagos, described the initiative as a direly needed ingredient for accelerating mobile money explosion in Nigeria. Rewane said the initiative is consistent with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy thrust of developing and sustaining an efficient payment system that will drive an increase in the velocity of money and consequently, stimulate economic growth. He described Nigeria as a mineral-rich and commodity-dependent economy with a nominal GDP of $510bn. According to him, it is 12 times the size of Kenya’s economy which has profited massively from mobile money service. He added that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and the 26th largest in the world. Rewane said the economy is largely cash-based; a situation which constitutes a barrier to rapid growth. Therefore, initiatives such as Glo Xchange that help to enhance the cashless policy of the CBN, or that help to improve the velocity of money is bound to have a resounding positive impact on economic growth. One veritable way of achieving this, he said, is to capture the money lying outside the formal sector. According to him, over 46 per cent of Nigerian adults currently have no access to financial services. He said mobile money is a strong tool for the financial inclusion of this huge category of Nigerians. Dr. Teriba on his part noted that while mobile money service has been in Nigeria for over three years, it has failed to grow as expected because of certain reasons, including lack of an efficient and expansive agent network. “Usually for such a service as mobile money, the bigger the network, the higher the chances of an explosion, and by extension, the bigger the benefits accruable to all the stakeholders, from the banks down to the customers”. He added that Glo Xchange, with the nationwide network of agents as unveiled by Globacom, is just the ingredient the industry has been waiting for. Noting that the potential for growth for the initiative is immense as the platform is open to other banks to plug into. He implored Nigerians looking for employment opportunities to see the avenues created by the initiative and utilize them for self-enhancement. Globacom’s Head of Corporate Sales, Mr. Kamal Shonibare said Glo Xchange is a fast, secured and convenient platform designed to enable Nigerians use their mobile phones to send or receive money and pay for their goods and services in any part of the country without physically carrying cash through the Glo Xchange agents. He explained that Globacom is investing in a robust nationwide mobile money agent network that will propel the success of Glo Xchange. The network includes 150 GloWorld and GloZone shops, over 35,000 Glo Dealers and sub dealer outlets, over 400 Conoil filling stations across the country and the outlets of over 7,000 members of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria. This will be strongly complemented by the branches of all the partner banks. Four licensed mobile money operators including Ecobank, Firstmonie, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Zenith Bank have partnered with Globacom on Glo Xchange, while other financial institutions are on the verge of joining the platform. Globacom said it aims to recruit over 500,000 Mobile Money Agents within the next 5 to 6 years who will earn excellent commission monthly on sales. The recruitment of the agents has already started. “With as little as N20,000, you too can become a Glo Xchange Agent. Just pick up your phone and SMS your First name/Last name/City/State to 33003 or 08150033003 or visit www.gloworld.com/mobilemoney”, said Shonibare.