Just In: CBN Grants MTN, Airtel Licenses to Operate as Payment Service Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has awarded MTN Nigeria PLC and Airtel Africa PLC the licence in principal to operate a Payment Service Bank in the country.

The development is coming after the service providers said they were waiting for the apex bank to issue them the license.

MTN announced on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd that it received regulatory approval on November 4, 2021 to proceed with its MoMo Payment Service Bank Limited.

“This is the first step in the process towards a final approval, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions as stipulated by the CBN,” it said.

MTN said the service would deepen financial inclusion in the country.

The licence is sill subject to the eventual grant of a final PSB license, the Telecom firm said.

Airtel Africa while disclosing the approval, said its subsidiary SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank Limited has received a PSB approval.

Airtel said its “Subsidiary SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank Limited (“Smartcash”) has been granted
approval in principle to operate a payment service bank business in Nigeria.”

Segun Ogunsanya, CEO, Airtel Africa, 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.” he said

About Adeshola Akinwale

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