MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa Plc, two telcos in Nigeria, have gotten CBN’s approval in principle to operate a payment service bank (PSB) in Nigeria.
The two leading telecommunications companies disclosed this in separate statements.
MTN Nigeria disclosed that the provisional service bank licence is the first step in a long process that would lead to eventual approval.
What is PSB:
PSB is a digital payment services which targets low-income earners, especially those who are unbanked.
The service providers are usually big firms, including existing traditiona financial institutions and telecom service providers.
PSB operators provide financial services through digital means to low-income earners and people that do not use banks or banking institutions for transactions.
Airtel will operate PSB via its Smartcash Payment Service Bank Limited while MoMo Payment Service Bank Limited will be MTN’s PSB. The essence is to bring more people into the financial inclusion space.
Airtel Africa’s CEO, 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.”
Similarly, MTN Nigeria’s Secretary, Uto Ukpanah said, MTN Nigeria remained optimistic that it would eventually get the PSB licence.
“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’,” the statement reads.
“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.”