CBN Nigeria Approve MTN And Airtel To Begin Payment Service Banks In Nigeria
It has been approved-in-principle by Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) for MTN Nigeria and Airtel to begin banking operations in their respective markets, which have a combined 40% and 27% market share respectively.
According to the Nigerian Exchange, two letters from the telecom companies requesting permission to operate Payment Service Banks in Nigeria have been received.
According to Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services that operates in 14 countries, “Smartcash Payment Service Bank Limited (“Smartcash”) has been granted approval in principle to operate a payment service bank business in Nigeria,” the company said in a letter.
If the “Group meets certain standard conditions within six months,” then the final approval will be granted.
Unless the CBN imposes additional conditions, MTN considers the approval it has already received as a first step toward final approval.
An Airtel Africa CEO reacted positively to the news: “I am very pleased that Smartcash has been granted an approval-in-principle to operate a service bank business in Nigeria,” Segun Ogunsanya said.
In order to receive the operating license and begin operations, we will now work closely with the Central Bank.
As a response, MTN Nigeria stated its commitment to the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s financial inclusion agenda and promised to keep looking for ways to contribute to its realization.
New competition between telecoms and banks will emerge as a result of the granting of banking licenses to telecoms.