Globacom’s Txtcash – Giant or Baby Step towards Cashless Economy?

Globacom, an indigenous telecomms company which can be said to be the network with the widest geographical coverage in the whole of Nigeria and continues to revolutionize mobile services in the country, announced it’s mobile money initiative – Glo Txtcash.

Glo joined forces with two major licensed banks to launch Nigeria’s first mobile money service. Glo Txtcash, the latest addition to a list of innovative products by Globacom, the service enables subscribers to use their mobile numbers to store Electronic Value (E- Value) of money easily. With this service, subscribers can transfer money to any mobile number, spend the money directly from their mobile money account to pay for goods as well as buy airtime top-up for themselves and others.

Glo TxtCash is said to ensure that people will no longer carry their wallets and mobile phones at the same time, anymore thus the mobile phone is technically equivalent to your wallet thus there is convenience and safety of the service.
Glo TxtCash can be accessed by all Glo subscribers after registration and dialing *866# for U-Mo and *909# for Stanbic IBTC MobileMoney. Existing Glo subscribers and new ones can perform various operations including Deposit and Cash-In; Withdrawal and Cash-Out; Transfer from mobile to mobile; buy airtime for anyone and bill Payments. Other facilities include account maintenance, balance enquiries, transactions, PIN change and mini-statement.

There is less information needed to register for this service on mobile phones and it does not exclude any customer, regardless of the type of phone thus it is not limited to smartphone users only. But what happened to theft? If the mobile phone or subscriber’s identity stolen. Anyways, let me enlighten you on what the cashless society which was launched in March 2012 entails just in case you don’t understand like I didn’t until I made some inquiry. There are countless people who have no inkling on what it means and I believe adequate information has not been supplied to the populace especially the not too educated people who transact business daily and don’t understand why their supplier is carrying a walkie talkie like machine called a POS terminal. The cashless society stipulates a daily limit for withdrawal and deposit into a bank account. The cumulative daily limit is N150,000 for individual accounts and N1,000,000 for corporate accounts. On exceeding this limit you will be charged a cash handling cost of N100 for every N1000 (10% of the excess amount) – What?

However, the alternatives to this surcharge are:

Internet/Online Banking
You can conduct normal banking transactions through the internet, transfer funds, check account balance, pay bills and taxes, make foreign exchange sales and transfer. The process is fairly simple, you fill a form and an account will be created for you. Request for internet banking token – this is a hardware that enables you validate your transactions online. You are billed for this service. More money expended.

Electronic Payment Cards
cards like interswitch Verve, Visa, Mastercard enables you to make payment for goods and services via Point of Sales (PoS) without handling cash. For example after buying stuff at the mall or any terminal all you do is swipe your card on the PoS device and authorize the payment which will then be transferred from your account to the merchant account. E-payment cards also enables you to shop online.

Mobile Money
Mobile Money is the major drive of CBN’s cashless policy. It allows you to create an e-wallet and store funds in your phone. This can be used to pay for goods and services at merchant locations that support mobile money. Glo Txtcash is an example of this.Will people prefer to use mobile money services? Maybe, maybe not. I think the ‘cashless society’ plan is flawed in a whole lot of ways due to the lack of options and alternatives and the usual technical glitch that we have all gotten used to. The mobile money service might work if adequate information is passed to the populace.

My question is who will use GloTxtcash? How has Glo advertised to this specific target audience? Believe it or not, I don’t know if I fall within the bracket but I just heard about GloTxtcash today. The communication plan has to be tailored to beat the normal skepticism the average nigerian has for it to succeed.


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