Telecoms firm, MTN has received final approval from Nigerian regulators to run the Mobile Money (MoMo) Payment Service Bank (PSB) licence in Nigeria.
The mobile operator announced on Monday that it has been given permission to operate the bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and it will soon offer financial services in accordance with the licence requirements.
“The date of commencement will be communicated to the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) in accordance with its requirements,” the telco heavyweight said of the bank to be known as MoMo Payment Service Bank Limited in a note to the Nigerian Exchange.
With the Payment Service Bank licence, MTN Nigeria will offer a wider range of mobile financial services beyond the traditional person-to-person mobile money transfers, such as lending and bill payments.
Premium Times quoted an official as saying, “We want to leverage the financial inclusion drive. We plan to give people who don’t have bank accounts or even ATM cards the opportunity to be able to do banking services.
“And we are leveraging on our size. When we have subscribers of over 70 million spread across Nigeria with our infrastructural spread, we are well-positioned to cover everywhere. That’s exactly what we want to achieve.”
MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa, who got approvals in principle last November to operate in the same space, will tap Nigeria’s unbanked adult population of 38 million people, who according to Abuja-based media research house and data analytics firm, had N26.2 trillion last year alone, a move that will pit both telcos against traditional banks in getting a slice of the market.