A principal activity that Mobile Money/Bank agents do is account/wallet opening. This is a deep dive into what this service entails.

Account and wallet opening is one of the core functions of mobile money and bank agents. This service entails opening accounts/wallets for an unbanked or customer - with your operator (Bank, Mobile Money agent etc). You can also open a new account/wallet for a customer who has an existing account with another operator. In some cases, banks and MMO’s are able to attach debit cards to accounts opened at agent locations. The financial Inclusion policy of the Federal Government is geared towards ensuring that all unbanked Nigerian adults are banked and agents have a pivotal role to play to achieve this goal. Many of these Nigerians are in rural areas and semi urban areas where financial institutions are barely present.

Wallets are lower versions of bank accounts. Unlike bank accounts:

  1. The funds that can go into wallets are limited,
  2. Anyone can open a wallet without the necessary CBN required KYC.
  3. Wallets are not directly tied to NIBSS. So you can't transfer from one operator's wallet to another operator's wallet. E.g from oPay wallet to Paga Wallet.
People choose to open wallets most times for:
  1. Its ease of opening: Most people who do not meet KYC requirements or do not have BVNs can easily open a wallet and start making financial transactions with it.
  2. They are under 18years who cannot open a bank account for themselves.
  3. For easier spending: For example, a customer can open a wallet with OPay so he can easily make payments for any of Opays affiliate services (e.g oRide, oFood, etc) - compared to making payments directly from their bank accounts.
  4. Zero transaction fees: Unlike bank accounts, wallet to wallet transactions do not have any transaction fees. So, for e.g, a construction site can make all the laborers open a wallet and pay them their daily fees via their wallets.
Apart from this, wallets and accounts function similarly. They act as the storage where you can keep your money.

  • Opening an account/wallet for an individual who has never had any bank account before
  • Opening a new account/wallet for an individual who has an existing account/wallet with another provider.
The agent will require the customer to come with certain KYC (Know your customer) documentation as stipulated by the operator.  

  • The unbanked, primarily.
  • Young people under 18 who cannot open accounts for themselves
They need this service to be able to complete certain financial transactions like receiving money from their loved ones, paying certain bills, etc.

  • Educating the customer about the need for the account/wallet and convincing the customer to open the account/wallet.
  • Conducting KYC for the customer
  • Making sure the customer accurately completes the account/wallet opening form
  • Inputting the customers details into the operators system and generating the account/wallet number. Where the process is manual, the agent will be required to take the completed customer form to the operator to open & set up the account/wallet.
  • Providing the customer with a bank card (optional - dependent on the operator)
  • Answering any questions the customer has about the operator and about operating the account/wallet.

The agent earns commissions for every account/wallet they open. The exact commission amount varies from operator to operator.

  • Account Opening form (depending on the operator)
  • A phone/Tab/PC (depending on the operator)

  • Situate your business in an unbanked area.
  • You can conduct periodic account opening campaigns in areas where there are a lot of unbanked people
  • You can also advertise it as a service you offer, so anyone interested can walk into your location and ask for the service

All licensed Mobile Money Operators and deposit money banks require that customers open accounts with them.

There is no capital requirement to conduct this service. All you have to be is a registered agent with an operator.

There is no special requirement to offer this service.

You make as much money as the number of accounts you can open.

Yes! you can start with account/wallet opening and then extend your offerings to other services over time.