MTN And Airtel Receive Payment Service Bank Approval

MTN And Airtel Receive Payment Service Bank Approval

In regulatory filings on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa Plc stated that they have gained approval-in-principle to establish a payment service bank (PSB) in the country.

This was disclosed on Friday by the two largest telecommunications companies.

Low-income earners and others who do not use banks or banking institutions for transactions can get financial services from PSB operators via digital methods.

MTN’s PSB will be MoMo Payment Service Bank Limited, while Airtel’s will be Smartcash Payment Service Bank Limited. The goal is to increase the number of people who have access to financial services.

EFInA earlier revealed that about 36 percent of the adult population, representing 38 million citizens, do not have access to financial services in Nigeria.

CEO, Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, said, “I am very pleased that Smartcash has been granted an approval in principle to operate a service bank business in Nigeria. We will now work closely with the Central Bank to meet all its conditions to receive the operating licence and commence operations.

“The final operating licence will enable us to expand our digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not have access to traditional financial services. I am looking forward to working closely with the Government, the Central Bank, and traditional financial institutions to expand financial inclusion and meet the evolving needs of our customers and the economy.”

On the other hand, MTN Nigeria’s Secretary, Uto Ukpanah in a statement, said “This is the first step in a long process that would lead to eventual approval. In other words, MTN Nigeria would be required to fulfil a number of conditions, even as ‘the decision to issue a final approval is firmly within the regulatory purview of the CBN’.

“MTN Nigeria expressed optimism that it would eventually get the PSB license, and reaffirmed its commitment to the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN in Nigeria.”

However, the two firms would be required to fulfill some conditions before CBN will grant an operating license.

CBN granted licences to Moneymaster PSB, a subsidiary of Glo, and 9PSB, a subsidiary of 9mobile in 2020.

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