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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fortis Mobile Money promises user-friendly

The Chief executive officer, Fortis Mobile Money, Mr. Henry Nwawuba has described the recent partnership with MTN and GTBank as significant achievement, promising a user friendly platform.
Fortis Mobile Money, one of the 11 mobile money operators licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), recently said that MTN would therefore be connecting Fortis to its over 40 million mobile telephone subscribers on the network.

Describing the partnership with MTN as a very significant achievement, he said that every mobile money company in Nigeria looks ahead to the kind of access MTN provides.
“What we have achieved today is that MTN is opening up its network infrastructure to Fortis and as such it gives us the kind of access that will make the experience very user friendly for all our customers” he said.

He explained that MTN has provided Fortis Mobile Money an unrestricted access on its network to unstructured supplementary service data (USSD), which is a messaging function in GSM cell phones. According to him, unlike regular text messages, USSD messages travel over GSM signaling channels and are used to query information and trigger services.

“We are asking the company to open up their distribution channels so that their airtime distribution partners can also become agent for mobile money,” he said.
The collaboration, he said, would also give MTN access to tap into over 40 million customers as Fortis Mobile Money roll out its service.
To cope with this capacity, he said, Fortis would have to build a robust business network, though it currently plans to deploy over 50,000 agents across Nigeria in one year.
Having launched the service in Lagos, he said the company’s mobile money service would rapidly take off in other cities and states in Nigeria. “That is because without the agent network, mobile money will not work. In Lagos, we have about 420 agents. In Abuja, we have about 1000 while in Port Harcourt we have activated 200 agents”, he said.

Explaining the services that are available to Nigerians on the network, the managing director of Fortis said the company would provide basic mobile financial services such as fund transfer, deposit and withdrawal from the bank account, which can be done at an agent location in the community. Before a customer can access to these services, such a customer must have opened a mobile account.

“Once that account is opened, it becomes your wallet. Do not leave home without your mobile phone. There is cash on it. The account is not physically sitting in your phone. Your phone is just an access device just like your ATM card.  When you take your ATM card to the ATM the money is not in your ATM card. Over 40 million MTN subscribers can open cash-lite account on Fortis Mobile Money by dialing *555*”, he said.

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