The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted MTN the final approval to operate as Momo Payment Service Bank Limited (Momo PSB).
Uro Ukpanah, company secretary at MTN Nigeria, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
PSB operators provide financial services through digital means to low-income earners and people that do not use banks or banking institutions for transactions.
It had been reported that MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa received an “Approval in Principle” (AIP) from the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate as Payment Service Banks.
“MTN Nigeria Communications PIc (MN Nigeria) announces the receipt of a letter dated 8 April 2022 from the CBN addressed to Momo PSB conveying final approval to commence operations,” the statement reads.
“The date of commencement will be communicated to the CBN in accordance with its requirements.
“MTN Nigeria affirms its commitment towards the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and we are excited at this opportunity to support its fulfilment.”
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With this approval, MTN Nigeria will be joining Moneymaster PSB, a subsidiary of Glo and 9PSB, a subsidiary of 9mobile, to operate in the fintech space.
According to EFInA, about 36 per cent of the adult population, representing 38 million citizens, do not have access to financial services in Nigeria.
The CBN guidelines explained that the key objective of issuing PSB licenses is to boost financial inclusion, especially in rural areas and facilitate transactions.
PSBs are expected to function in rural regions and areas where Nigerians do not have bank accounts. They are also expected to have at least 50 per cent physical access points in rural areas.
Telecom companies like MTN and Airtel looked forward to taking advantage of the more than 60 million Nigerians who are estimated to be financially excluded, by providing them access to financial tools.
Note that in order to operate a payment service bank in Nigeria, one of the basic conditions is to meet a minimum capital requirement of $12.2 million (N5 billion).